Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Twins Are Born!

Last week, twins were born at our dairy. Cows have calves on our farm every day, but most births are single calves. Approximately 6% of the births on our farm are twins.

When a cow is within one or two days of calving, she is moved to the maternity pen where she is monitored closely. Some cows calve on their own while others require assistance. Since this cow was having twins, she needed some help.

Josue and Lad help her deliver her calf......

Here comes the second calves front legs......

Josue catches the newborn calf......

Momma cow licks off her newborn calves......

The newborns - one is a heifer (female) and one is a bull (male)......

Jack and Lad chat while watching the cow with her calves......

When calves are born, their navel is dipped in iodine to dry the umbilical cord and prevent pathogens from entering the calf's body through the cord, and then they are fed colostrum (the first milk from the mother). The mother licks them off and they usually stand up pretty quickly.

To learn about how calves grow up on our farm, check out Newborn Calf and Fresh Cow Care and Growing Up on Our Farm - Calf to Heifer to Milk Cow.


  1. Congrats - how cool.

    Do you know, prior to birth, if the cow is pregnant with twins? Or do you have a good idea due to size?

  2. Thanks for regularly following and commenting on my blog! We didn't know this cow was pregnant with twins. When Lad reached in to pull out the calves legs, he felt three front legs and that's when he knew he would be delivering twins. Lad pregnancy checks cows at 36 days pregnant, he can detect twins at 36 days about half the time. Then it's noted in the cow's record. But the other half of the time, it's not known that the cow will be having twins until she begins calving. We can't tell just by looking at the cow.

  3. Love the photo of "catching" the calf. It really shows the care your farm gave this twin birth. And the maternity pen looks pretty comfy with all that straw bedding!

  4. Looks like you do a wonderful job of caring for your mother cows and babies. What a perfect maternity pen!

  5. Congratulations! Such a beautiful gift. I love the pictures, too. That straw bedding look cozy enough for me to take nap!!

  6. The twins are adorable! Love reading about the dairy "babies" and love their houses and pens.

  7. Thanks for all the comments. Glad you like the post!

  8. Does your mom cows cry for their babies when you take them away & put them in their "huts"? It's a veal thing isn't it?

    1. The animals on our farm deserve and receive outstanding care. A cow doesn’t “cry” when her calf is moved into an individual hutch. The reason we use hutches is to give calves a good start in life. Individual housing in the first months of life are important for the health and safety of calves. Each calf gets her own feed, milk and water and doesn’t have to compete for it. If a calf is sick, we can easily identify and treat her. We have an extremely low mortality rate among calves on our farm. They live in hutches until 2-3 months old, and then are moved to group housing with animals their own age. The female calves in the hutches will grow to be healthy, productive milk cows.


Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment! I’m opening the doors of our farm to share with you and enjoy engaging in discussion. Please be respectful in your comments. I reserve the right to remove posts that include name calling, slander, and vulgar language or contain links to websites that assault animal agriculture.

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