This past week we had an older, pre-fresh(or really pregnant) cow that wasn't feeling so good and we just couldn't figure out what the problem was. Our vet gave us some tips on how to treat her symptoms and keep her comfortable and we were kind of relieved when she started to calve in hopes that would turn things around. Little did we know that she was pregnant with TRIPLETS!
My dad claims that since the beginning of Swisslane's existence there have only been 2 cases of triplets before this and none of the calves have survived. I would love to say that this case ended in storybook fashion but it's just a good ending with some farm-life reality too.
All 3 calves were heifers! This is not only rare but great because when cattle have multiples that are different sexes the females are sterile in about 80-90% of cases. These heifers are called a freemartin and raised along with the bull calves.
Sadly, one of the calves didn't make it. As for the other 2, they are happy and healthy. There is just one small flaw with baby #2- she has no ears!
Just these little buds- its very strange-but we still like her! She won't have eartags- everyone will just know her and she's already getting some special treatment as the kids fight over who gets to feed "No Ears" her bottle at night.
The cow did end up passing away 2 days after calving. Her legacy will live on through her girls. And we have another case to support using ultra-sound technology on our pregnant cows- something that we have talked about but just haven't been able to justify that kind of an investment. Its hard to not question "What if...?" But looking at how far technology has advanced cow health it won't be long before cases like this will end happily ever after!