Not a Dexter but one...two...
By Travis Jenkins
“Not only do we have twins, we've got a litter.”
That is what Betty and Dale Beer say that their son Greg exclaimed last Tuesday.
Greg was not making reference to his parents' dog or cat, though. He was talking about a cow.
The Beers have been raising cows in Chester County for 50 years. They witnessed over 100 births in the last year and thousands during their time at their Richburg farm.
Until last Tuesday, though, they had never seen a cow give birth to triplets.
“We thought she was just carrying twins,” Betty Beer said.
Twins are not that uncommon. Betty said one of their cows gave birth to a set of twins a few weeks ago. Triplets are a real rarity, however. According to the “Cow-Calf Newsletter” only one in every 105,000 cow births results in triplets being born.
The cow that gave birth to the triplets actually birthed a set of twins herself last year, though both calves died.
“Greg actually said ‘We need to get rid of her,'” Betty Beer said. “He was afraid that she'd die next time.”
Though she came through the delivery just fine, there was a reason for concern. A veterinarian told the Beers that the cow was suffering from low blood sugar. They also noticed that she wasn't eating.
“She didn't have any room for food,” Dale Beers joked. “Really, she wasn't getting up and down very good. Now we know why.”
Not long after the delivery, both mother and children had a normal appetite. One of the calves has been moved because the mother is not producing enough milk for all three. Another of the calves may be moved to a different location soon for the same reason.
The Beers said that most of their cows will eventually be fed out for beef in Texas.
The birthing season is still not quite over. Betty said that about 15 more calves would be born in the coming weeks. What would her reaction be to another set of triplets?
“A surprise,” Betty said. “A big surprise.”