RAINBOW, TEXAS – By definition, a cow becomes a cow after she, as a heifer, gives birth to her first calf. However, a cow becomes “udder-ly” amazing when she gives birth to triplets, which is exactly what has occurred to Ronnie and Celia Shackelford’s three-year-old mixed-breed cow.
The long-time Rainbow residents purchased the cow at a sale in Dublin, Texas two short years ago. As any farmer would do, the Shackelford’s have regularly “worked her, put tags on her and even branded her.”
But to their surprise and after a little investigating by Ronnie, the couple found not one newborn calf roaming their land on the backside of a stock tank – they found three.
“We think they’re about two weeks old judging by the absence of their navel cord and how big they are,” Celia explained. “She snuck out into the pasture on the other side of the tank and I saw her out there and told Ronnie that there was a cow back there.
“He disagreed and said he thought there were some big calves out there and there wasn’t supposed to be a cow out there. Anyway, we were coming home and Ronnie realized that she was out there in the pasture.”
After suspicions of the cow roaming to where she wasn’t supposed to be, Ronnie set out to investigate the abnormal situation.
“The next morning, I drove down the road and out to where some old trees and there was three baby calves. I thought it was the neighbor’s calves,” Ronnie explained. “I turned our cow out and she wouldn’t go anywhere, so I opened the gate and let her in and when I did she circled the tank and all three of the calves bounced up and started chasing her.”
Triplets are rare. So rare that according to several databases, the feat only occurs once in approximately 105,000 deliveries.
The surprise triplets - A tan heifer, a brown bull and a black bull – are believed to be from an Angus bull.
Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_GRR