Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Rare triplets born on Montana ranch

They arrived too late for an April Fool’s Day hoax, but just in time to herald the arrival of spring. Rare triplet calves were born April 2 on the Badger Ranch east of Cascade. Owned by ranch manager Iain McGregor, the trio of Black Angus heifers are all healthy and up on their feet. Cow 3202 seems a bit perplexed by the number of calves demanding her attention, but allows all three to nurse without objection. “I’m just getting to the point now where I’m comfortable that they’re all going to make it,” McGregor said. “I figured I would come in here one of these days and she would have laid on one or stepped on one — keeping track of one calf and then accidentally taking out another. But at this point they’re strong enough and active enough that they’ll stay out of her way. “And to have all three of them as heifers makes it even more unique,” he added. “It’s amazing.” While the birth of twin calves is fairly common, occurring in beef breeds roughly once in every 90 live births, triplets are far rarer — occurring just once in every 105,000 deliveries. Add in that all three calves were of the same gender and all three were born alive and the odds are even lower; about one in 700,000. “I have never heard of triplets that have survived in Montana in the 20-some years that I’ve been here,” said Dr. Bill Layton, administrator of the Department of Livestock’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory...more

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