Yesterday morning we had a new set of twins born on the farm. December can often be a cold beast, but lately the temperatures are hovering right around 32 degrees which makes for nice winter calving weather.
I’ve been waiting for these twins for quite awhile. Their mother is none other than Pepé, who you might remember me writing about before. If not, here’s an update from early this year.
It’s always harder on a cow to have twins and more complications can come up. Plus, the odds aren’t very good for getting a ‘normal’ heifer calf.
I say ‘normal’ because for cattle it’s usually the case that a heifer calf born twin to a bull calf will not develop a functional reproductive system. That heifer won’t be able to become pregnant and have her own calves, so she gets raised for meat instead of milk. While meat is important too it won’t carry on the family line.
The simple math is only 25% chance for getting both girls, but I was still hopeful. Every time I checked on Pepé over the last few weeks I had a small feeling she would have two heifers. Twins often come early, and with a due date of December 16th I was getting impatient over the weekend. First thing Monday morning I went to check Pepé, and I was smiling at what I saw. Two lively calves – which in itself is a victory! I carefully lifted the back leg of each, and sure enough she had given birth to two heifers.
They are more than good size for twins, and they both already eat well. They are moved into hutches side by side with numbers 4934 and 4935. These two will need names, but right now I haven’t settled on anything. Do you have any suggestions for me?
Pepé herself is doing about as expected. She’s worn down from the process of carrying and delivering twins, but she is mostly eating, ruminating, resting, and giving milk like she should. We’ll watch her closely over the next few weeks for problems, and she will get additional calcium, vitamins, and natural pills to help with digestive health. Hopefully she won’t need more than that, but if so we will treat any complications as needed.
Thanks for reading along today. I’m definitely excited about these calves, and I’ll be sure to update you as they grow!