WESTGATE, Iowa (KWWL) – Seven hundred calves are born each year at Top Deck Holsteins near Westgate, Iowa.
That’s about two calves born every day, but last Friday things were a little different.
“Well, about 3:30 Friday, I noticed she was calving and about an hour later she wasn’t making progress so I checked here, and I reached inside, there was two heads coming so I knew I needed to intervene, and I pushed the one calf back, and I pulled the other one up,” says Derek Decker.
Decker knew something was up because normally calves weigh 80 to 100 pounds for a single born calf. The first two calves born were roughly 40 pounds a piece.
“I thought I might just want to check for another one because they weren’t very big and sure as heck there was a third calf in there,” says Decker.
Decker says having triplets is a rarity. A University of Wisconsin study says less than one third of one percent of all calves born are triplets. But this isn’t the first time Top Deck Holstein has seen triplet calves. It was about a year ago they had another set.
“A year ago almost to the day we had triplets born and so I think that memory was fresh in my mind to just check for a third calf,” said Decker.
Decker says he saw triplets born 15 years ago, but they were born early and died. He says these triplet calves are healthy and doing great.