Arkansas Cow Has Fourth Set of Triplets

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

HARRIET, Ark. — For the fourth time, an Arkansas cow has given birth to triplets _ and it's the ninth time she has given birth to more than one calf at a time.

The Charolais-mix cow named Faith has given birth to 22 calves in nine pregnancies _ each of them multiples.

"Our vet says she belongs in the Guinness Book of World Records,"owner Jenny Williams said."She's amazing."Veterinarian Dr. G.C. Blair confirmed the 10-year-old's amazing fertility.

According to researchers at Oklahoma State University, beef cattle have triplets in 1 out of about 105,000 pregnancies, and have twins in 1 out of about 250.

Faith gave birth to her latest set on Friday. Of her previous 18, 15 grew to maturity _ three died after birth, including one Friday, and one was carried off by a bear.

Faith lives at the Cedar Creek Ranch and Cattle Co., which is owned and managed by Bob and Jenny Williams, and Jenny's mother Laura Ewing. The farm purchased Faith and her mother from a neighbor a decade ago.

"She is a really sweet cow,"she said."We don't keep a cow unless she is."

Faith gave birth two twins in her first two pregancies and accidentally killed one of her first by rolling on the calf. The farm kept a heifer from the second set, Hope, and she has produced only single births.

Faith's triplets are almost the size of single birth calves, out of commercial cows bred to Limousin bulls. Jenny noted that Faith is a large cow, probably weighing 1,200 pounds while nursing a calf.

"She is huge before giving birth,"she continued."We can tell if she will gave twins or triplets by her size. In 2003 we said twins, and in 2004 we said triplets."

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