ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Triplet Calves

Updated on December 18, 2017

Triplet Calves

Even in the era of world-wide communication ad media, triplet calves are very rare and worth a news story. Cows are biologically capable of producing twins but generally have only one calf at a time. Triplets are extremely rare. Triplets are slightly more common with older cows and in family lines with a previous record of producing triplets.

Some farmers are selecting for triplet calving to increase the incidence. However, calves from twin or triple pregnancies are less likely to survive, and females with male sibling in utero may be infertile. Cows who have triplets are also more like to become infertile or die than those having single calves. So it is not a win/win situation. Most farmers are happy to have singletons and occasionally twins.

Photographs

Because bovine twins are rare and, let's face it, rather by cute, they are a subject found in antique and vintage photographs by proud farmers. Some examples are shown below, with the year marked when it is known.

Undated

A tethered white spotted cow is shown in a pasture with her three offspring. This picture appears to originate in France and is marked on the back "Cine Foto Paris".
A tethered white spotted cow is shown in a pasture with her three offspring. This picture appears to originate in France and is marked on the back "Cine Foto Paris".

1922

The picture below, dating from 1922, shows a cow dubbed "Dairy Maid" with her triplets.
The picture below, dating from 1922, shows a cow dubbed "Dairy Maid" with her triplets.

1982

Three calves delivered by a cow named Lucie
Three calves delivered by a cow named Lucie

Recent Examples

Even More Unusual

A cow in the United Kingdom even gave birth to triplet calves of different breeds after being inseminated with sperm from more than one bull.

Quadruplets

There is only two cases of bovine quadruplets that I have found

  1. From 1930. Born to a seven-year-old Holstein Friesian, two of the calves were also identical twins.
  2. In 2012, all female calves, also including one set of twins.

Bibliography

  • Echternkamp, S. E., Thallman, R. M., Cushman, R. A., Allan, M. F., & Gregory, K. E. (2007). Increased calf production in cattle selected for twin ovulations. Journal of animal science, 85(12), 3239-3248.
  • Pearl, R., & Pearson, K. (1912). A Case of Triplet Calves: With Some General Considerations Regarding Multiple Gestation in Normally Uniparous Animals. Maine Agricultural Experiment Station.
  • Sawa, A., Bogucki, M., & Krężel-Czopek, S. (2013). Reproduction performance of cows with single, twin and triplet calves. Acta Veterinaria Brno, 81(4), 347-352.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      2 years ago from New Zealand

      We do have twin calves occasionally, and they do take a little more care to look after when first born than one especially when born to a heifer (2-year-old cow) as they usually reject one of them.

      Enjoyed the photos of the triplets, so cute, thanks for sharing.

    • Keri Summers profile image

      Keri Summers 

      6 years ago from West of England

      Cute! Enjoyed the photos in your Hub and the links.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)