An Irish cow has beaten odds of 700,000/1 by giving birth to three bouncing baby bulls.
Munster farmer Peter Murphy has named his triplet bullock brothers after rugby’s holy trinity: O’Connell, O’Driscoll, and O’Gara.
The week-old bullocks were delivered within a few minutes to their seven-year-old Friesian mother Betsy at the farm outside the village of Athlacca in Co Limerick.
Their proud owner Peter Murphy said his young niece and nephew, Aisling and Garoid Lynch, gave the inky black triplets their impressive titles.
“I do love the rugby. We got three bulls and Aisling and Garoid called them O’Connell, O’Driscoll and O’Gara.
“It’s very rare. We’re delighted with them. It’s fantastic to get them all out alive. I have been farming for a long time and I have never come across triplets.
“The vet has been at the job for over 30 years and he had never delivered triplets. He was amazed.”
Cows do not normally have litters of calves and the chances of having triplets are 105,000/1, with the odds of having same-sex triplets about 700,000/1.
Experts from the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine have said a cow giving birth to triplets was a “statistical miracle”.
In addition to their rarity, there is only a 25% chance that the calves will all be born alive.
But the triple delivery took farm owner Peter Murphy by complete surprise in Limerick last week.
“There were no giveaway signs. She had four calves previously and they had all been single births. I had to call the vet to deliver them when she got into difficulty.
“I didn’t know they were triplets until they started coming out one after the other.
“The three of them are all suckling the cow and there are no worries there. She is well able to feed them.”
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