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Three of a kind

By Staff | Feb 27, 2009

One Simmental cow on the Hoffart farm south of Knox has been a particularly good producer, calving two sets a twins in the past eight years.

Recently, she provided another surprise for ranching brothers Kelly and Steve Hoffart — triplets.

“It’s my brother Steve’s cow, and he’s said before she’s been one heck of producer,” said Kelly.

One in 105,000

The odds of calf triplets is about one in 105,000 according to Dr. Rick Lagasse, licensed veterinarian.

Perhaps what’s more extraordinary is all three are healthy and doing well. Oftentimes, one or more either aborts or is born dead, Lagasse said.

The unique event occurred on the evening of Feb. 21.

“She was quite large, and we knew she was getting ready to calve, so we moved her into a heated facility since she had a history of having twins,” Kelly said. “We checked on her and saw she had one calf near her still on the ground, so we figured another was coming. We returned a little while later and there were three.

Two of the calves are heifers, one solid red, and the other red with a white spot on her foreheard. The third is a bull that is red with white socks and a white face.

The Hoffarts, who ranch about five miles southwest of Knox in Benson County at their father Edwin’s farm, expect to calve out 140.

“We have 30 calves already, and we’ll be at it probably until early May,” Kelly said.

Ever since the Hoffart farm was established nearly a century ago — 1910 — there have always been cattle. However, there never has been a set of triplets calves born.

The two brothers have been calving for several years together, and now they have a unique story to share.

“I guess you just don’t know what to expect,” Kelly said.

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