A dairy cow has beaten incredible odds to give birth to triplets – which are from two DIFFERENT breeds.
Holstein Friesian cow Coco delivered three healthy calves without any assistance, which is a one-in-105,000 chance.
But amazingly, two of the calves are from the Belgian Blue Cross breed and the third is a Charolais Cross.
Owner Anthony Gothard, 37, who runs a dairy farm at Stoke St Gregory, Somerset, said this is because Coco was inseminated using a ”concoction” of different bulls.
He said: ”We were really surprised because we’d never seen it.
”There’s three generations on the farm now and my grandfather came out to see them because he’s never experienced it before.
”But what’s quite uncanny as well as they’re two different breeds of calf.
”Because we artificially inseminate our cattle we sometimes use a concoction of different bulls in the insemination.
”On rare occassions you might get a pare of twins where one is one breed and one another.
”What we’ve got here is two Belgian Blue Cross calves, and one Charolais Cross, which makes it even more amazing.”
Anthony, who has worked on The Old Dairy farm for 20 years, was delighted after Coco gave birth to the first healthy calf – a male Belgian Blue Cross – last Saturday.
He left the new mum to relax with her baby and carried on with work on the farm, where he produces Granny Gothard Ice Cream with wife Natasha, 34.
But when he returned later the farmer was delighted to find she’d calved again with another Belgian Blue, this time a girl.
Thrilled that his cow had given birth to twins – itself a relative rarity in cattle – Anthony once more left the cow on her own with it’s now pair of young to settle down.
But in another hour when he returned to check on the new family he discovered Coco had given birth yet again – entirely unaided – to healthy third calf that was a Charolais Cross.
The thrilled farmer added: ”She actually calved one to start with, and she calved by herself, so we thought that was great – one good calf, one good cow.
”And then literally an hour later another one popped out. And then again in another hour there was another one there – three babies all delivered by herself.
”In four generations on the farm we’ve never seen triplets. It’s just incredible she calved all three by herself with no problems at all. No help at all.
”And to have all three fit and healthy and strong is incredible, so our cow’s obviously done a very good job.”
Cows do not normally have litters of calves and the chances of having triplets are 105,000 to one, with the odds of having same sex triplets around 700,000 to one.
Experts from the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine have previously said a cow giving birth to triplets is a ‘statistical miracle.’
The average gestation period is about nine months – like humans – and a newborn calf will weigh between 40 to 50kg, but within a year they are usually the same size as their parents.