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Viroqua farmer's cow gives birth to live triplets

VIROQUA, Wis. - It's a rare occurrence that some farmers never think they'll see in a lifetime, but one farmer's dairy cow in Viroqua has defied the odds to pull off a three-peat.

Daniel Sisbach has lived and worked on his farm in Viroqua all of his life, and he thought he had seen everything there was to see, until about a week and a half ago.

While cows roam around his farm, inside his barn sit three special calves.

"That one there is going to look right in the camera," said Sisbach.

Ready for their close-ups, these calves are different, and we're not just talking about the way they search for some air time, their spots or colors.

"[I] just went out into the pasture, and first [I] thought it was a set of twins, and then we'd seen the third calf maybe 50 yards away from the other two," said Sisbach.

On September 11, one of Sisbach's cows gave birth to not one, not two, but three calves -- triplets.


It's something he's never seen in his nearly 60 years on the farm.

"Most of the time with triplets, the vet said they'll [miscarry] them," said Sisbach. "They won't even carry them full term, and so you could hear somebody had a set of triplets and one of them died, but it really surprised me that all three of them are alive."

So just how rare is it for a cow to give birth to live triplets? The odds of getting a hole in one are one in 5,000. You also have a one in 10,000 chance of getting stuck by lighting in your lifetime, and you have a one in 11,500 in bowling a perfect game.

The odds of having live triplet calves is only one in about 105,000 according to the associated press.

But as rare as triplets are, what's even more rare is if the two brothers and sister could behave well all the time.

"They're a nuisance," said Sisbach. "The other day we were trying to get them to stand by the cow; it's just like having kids, one doesn't want to cooperate. One always wants to go in its own direction."

Sisbach said these triplet calves are so rare he's willing to donate them to anyone who wants to do research or use them in some sort of school project to fully milk the opportunity for all its worth.

While having triplet cows is rare the chances of having same-sex triplet cows is about one in 2 million.

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