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3x the fun: Hansen’s Dairy cow gives birth to triplet heifers

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One of our Holstein cows, aptly named Legend, gave birth to triplet heifers on May 17. (Photo courtesy Ellen Kaminsky)

Hansen’s Dairy farm made history on Friday, May 17, 2019. You might even call the event “Legendairy.”

A cow on our farm gave birth to TRIPLETS! They are all alive, and they are all heifers. Experts say the odds of a cow having surviving triplets are about 1 in 400,000 births. Add in the fact that they are all girls — which is what we dairy farmers want, since only females give milk — and the odds go up exponentially.

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The triplet heifers at Hansen’s Dairy farm are all thriving.

A cow’s gestational period is 40 weeks, just like humans. In the last 20 years, we have only had two other cows pregnant with triplets, and neither set was carried for longer than five months before miscarriage.

The cow who gave birth to these lucky girls is named Legend. And now, she certainly lives up to her name.

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When Legend went into labor, herd manager Blake Hansen was only expecting twins, not triplets. (Photo courtesy Ellen Kaminsky)

Herd manager Blake Hansen knew that Legend was going to have twins. She happened to deliver right at the time when a tour group was visiting the farm, so two of the tourists got a true “hands-on” experience and helped deliver the first two calves!

Blake was surprised when Legend delivered these two big, beautiful heifer calves, but still looked pretty round. That’s when he realized there was a third one on the way.

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Legend gives Blake a lick of appreciation for his assistance with the triplet babies. (Photo courtesy Ellen Kaminsky)
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(Photo courtesy Ellen Kaminsky)

The calves weighed in at 85, 85 and 80 pounds. That’s 250 pounds of baby that Legend carried for 39 weeks — just one week shy of full term! They all came out facing the proper direction, which is even more amazing. And Legend is doing well, successfully passing all the afterbirth naturally.

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These triplets will have a unique bond growing up together at Hansen’s Dairy.

The sire of these triplets, or father, is also unique. His name is Glory-Road M Apple Crisp-ET, and he is the first bull that Blake Hansen has bred that was sent to stud, or a semen company. Having a bull that is desired by semen companies so that other dairy farmers may purchase his semen is a rare accomplishment, especially from a small farm like ours.

Legend herself is the daughter of a twin, who was named Lois. Legend is 5 years old, turning 6 in July, so she has given birth to four calves in her lifetime. She’s already produced over 100,000 pounds of milk in four lactations. For those in the dairy industry, she classified at 5-00 EX-90 VEEVE.

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Mom looks a little overwhelmed, don’t you think?!

Now, these babies need names. We always use the same initial as the mother to name the calves, and we try to give each calf a name that has never been used on our farm before. This is a challenge, because we have dozens of L cows already!

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Luke and Leia are a current set of twins on the Hansen’s Dairy farm. The farm has had lots of twins, but never surviving triplets.

Other “L” sets of twins we’ve named include:

  • Longitude and Latitude
  • Luke and Leia
  • Lois and Lane
  • LaLa and Loopsy
  • Lego and Land

So, we need your help. Give us your best triplet names — remember, all beginning with L! Having a theme to the three names is even better!

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What an accomplishment for this “Legendairy” cow!

 

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2012 Solar Splash at George Wyth Park gets a taste of Hansen’s famous ice cream!

The University of Southhampton team, from the United Kingdom, enjoyed our oatmeal chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches during the Solar Splash today.
We caught up with the UNI Solar Splash team just after they got out of the water for a photo. Don’t worry, they got ice cream too!

 

Written by: Christine Schick