A rare triple birth of calves was recorded on Wally and Kerry LaClare's farm near Melfort, Sask., this week.
The calves were healthy and were walking around and nursing within about an hour, Wally LaClare told CBC News.
The mother cow, an Angus cross, delivered her first calf around 6:30 a.m. CST.
LaClare was on hand for that and said he had no idea there were more to come.
"There was no inkling at all that she was going to have more than more than one calf," LaClare said.
However, when he checked on the animals an hour later, he found the cow was giving birth to her second calf.
"It was quite a surprise," he said.
LaClare said he pulled that one out and, an hour later the story repeated itself for a third — and final — time.
LaClare said he believes two of the calves are from one bull on the farm and the third is from another, based upon their different markings and colours. One calf is light brown, the second has a reddish tint, while the third is jet black.
While no one was rushing to book them as guests on a Jerry Springer paternity episode, veterinarians said it is very possible that two eggs were fertilized and one of those eggs divided to create two calves.
The weights of the animals, LaClare said, were 90 lbs, 88 lbs, and 70 lbs, or roughly 41 kg, 40 kg and 32 kg.
An expert from the veterinary college at the University of Saskatchewan, in Saskatoon, said the odds of having triplets in beef cattle are about 1 in 105,000.
The mother, who is about 14 years old, is doing fine, LaClare said.
"She's getting the kid glove treatment at the farm," he said.