Million to One Holstein Freisian Heifer Triplets Born on Castleisland Farm

Triplet calves, three generations: Farmer, Tommy Roche pictured with his father, Johnnie and son Colm and the three hardy Holstein/Friesian heifer calves which were born to the camera shy mom on the farm in Castleisland at the end of March. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Farmer, Tommy Roche pictured with his father, Johnnie and son Colm and the three hardy heifer calves which were born to the mom – in the background – on the farm in Castleisland at the end of March. ©Photograph: John Reidy

An event on a farm in New Brunswick, Canada in November 2011 where triplet heifer calves were born to a Holstein cow named Celia was deemed an eight-million-to-one chance there at the time.

Several factors conspired to drive these odds well beyond the limits of normal occurrences on farms throughout the world.

The fact that they were all heifers, all healthy and all survived the days after the birth contributed in multiples to the accumulated and extraordinary odds.

Triplet Heifers in Castleisland

Now a similar happening on a farm in Castleisland has matched the one which headlined CBS News casts throughout Canada and America almost a decade ago.

On the Roche’s farm at Firie last week a Holstein Friesian heifer gave birth to three daughters and the odds, which stacked up and made the Canadian event so unusual, were matched to the last in Castleisland.

No Exaggeration Here

However, the Roches are not inclined towards such an exaggeration of the odds – no matter how forgivable the temptation may be – given the circumstances.

The cow at Roche’s farm had been scanned and shown to be expecting triplets – after an encounter with the obliging farm bull.

Steve Murphy, the Castleisland based veterinary surgeon, was on hand and the expectant mom duly delivered at around 9am on Tuesday morning, March 26th.

Three of a Gender

“We know that the chances of a cow having triplets, all of the same gender and all them alive, healthy and surviving had been put at about eight million to one after  that triple birth in Canada,” said retired farmer, Johnnie Roche whose son Tommy now holds the reins of the farm at Firie.

“Triplet calves have been born in a couple of places around Ireland in fairly recent years but to have them all of the one gender and all surviving and healthy could be put at about a million-to-one.”

Three Generations

There were three generations of the Roche family available in the nursery shed to pose with the gamboling triplets as the mom munched a mouthful of hay.

Tommy’s son, Colm joined his dad and grand-dad in exerting a bit of control over the lively triplets while they were having their photographs taken.

While the Canadian triplet sisters were named as: Faith, Hope and Love, the Roches have no plans to name the the results of their near miracle births as the triplets passed their first week in the cosiness of their nursery in Firie.

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