Hobby farmer celebrates a surprise end-of-year gift
SHERRIE and Andrew Breitkopf are the proud owners of twin charbray calves.
The Mundubbera couple thought the twins were a great Christmas present for the family that includes 10-year-old Emma and Aidan, aged seven.
Mr Breitkopf said he had lost a calf last year and the twins would make up for that loss.
Sherrie and Andrew are owner-operators of Three Rivers Tourist Park and keep four cows on 12 acres at the back of the property.
“The heifers are really my hobby and I am always getting into trouble for spending too much time out the back with them,” Mr Breitkopf said.
“They do take up a lot of my time but, when something like this happens, it is all worth it.”
Although twins certainly improve the calving percentage, they sometimes present more problems than that advantage is worth.
The cow is likely to accept one of the calves and reject the other.
“The cow is a good mother and she has been very close with both calves since they were born,” Mrs Breitkopf said.
“Even when I went down to take the photographs, she hunted me out of the paddock,” she said.
“The cattle in our backyard have become part of the family and we are so happy that the twins have come along.”
When cows have twins and they are of the opposite sex, the female is generally infertile.
This phenomenon is called “freemartinism”. Twin births occur in one to seven percent of cattle depending on breed and genetics. So this is fairly rare. With eight legs, two heads and at least four possible ways the two calves might be lying in the womb, it is easy to imagine problems occurring.
At the moment the twins are doing well and they have already started putting on weight.
The season has started off very well in Mundubbera.
MUNDUBBERA TWINS: Sherrie and Andrew Breitkopf are the proud owners of twin Charbray calves.