Cow Triplets Born In England: What Are The Odds Of Such A Rare Birth?
The birth of cows is not usually newsworthy, but in Wirral, England, cow triplets were born recently, a one-in-700,000 occurrence.
The birth of three calves was a surprise to Jon Appleby, 44, a farmer at Greenhouse Farm, where the cow triplets were born. Though Appleby has worked on farms his whole life, he'd never known cow triplets were possible until cow number 901 gave birth to the three.
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"I couldn't quite believe it when I saw three calves. She'd had two and we thought that was it -- it's not uncommon for twins to be born," Appleby told the Daily Mail. "But we looked again and a third had been born. She was in a field on her own so they're definitely all hers!"
Arriving so soon after the birth of royal baby George Alexander Louis, the son of Kate Middleton and Prince William, Appleby named the cow triplets...George, Alexander and Louis.
"It's a little moment in history us having such a rare arrival so it was only right to mark the occasion," Appleby told the Daily Mail.
Despite the rarity of cow triplets, this is the second time in recent weeks that three calves have come along at once.
In Footville, Wis., farmer Steve Case was shocked to find one of his cows birth triplets in late July. Case said he "just about fell over" when the cow triplets were born.
"Triplets are rare to be born alive and healthy," said veterinarian Ray Pawlisch, speaking about Case's cow triplets. "A lot of times there's complications."
Pawlisch said he'd only seen healthy cow triples two times in 30 years.
According to a 2006 study Pawlisch cited, conducted by University of Wisconsin-Madison, only one-third of a percent of cow pregnancies result in triplets.
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