Sunday, 2 January 2011

Two for One

Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.
Sometimes Mother Nature likes to throw in a curly one just to keep you on your toes.

With embryo calves falling right through Christmas, and still one left to calve, we do the rounds every morning, noting down mother's numbers, heifer or bull status of the baby, and checking everybody is in good health.

In this drop of calves we've been expecting our usual Brahman purebred calves, and also the first of a little experiment, whereby we joined some of our Brahman donor females to an Angus bull, thus producing first cross Brangus calves.

On Christmas Eve, doing the rounds before heading to town, we found one of the Charbray recips (from whom we were expecting a black Brangus calf), with her new baby at side, a little creamy bull calf.  What the???  Showing the physical attributes of a brahman crossbred, we left for town thinking we had a white Brangus on our hands, almost unheard of.

Returning home Boxing Day to again do the rounds, Matthew found the same mama cow with a jet black Brangus calf as originally anticipated.  What the???  No creamy calf to be found.  Had he turned black in two days???  Matthew headed back to town, somewhat bemused by what he'd found.

All of us returned home the following day, and to our astonishment and excitement found this happy little trio.

And with the 20/20 vision of hindsight, we recalled having our recipient females in the yards some nine months ago, when one of the rascally sale bulls jumped a gate and spent a brief few moments in their company.  Promptly removing him from the scene no more was thought of it.  Seven days later, as we do, we implanted embryos, in this case a little black Brangus embryo.  Unbeknownst to us, within this mama, her own naturally conceived embryo was already embedding himself into the warm confines of her uterus. 

And so, brothers (but not quite), were born.
The miracle of nature.


  1. That's a great story - I can just imagine the confusion!! Mother Nature does some weird things at times - just look at the weather!

  2. That is a great story. Creamy must have been determined to hang on in there while his "brother" was implanted. These two are a special pair - I look forward to following their progress.

  3. That is amazing Fiona. Should be interesting to see the progress of these two "twin" (??) calves. The "jumping" bull certainly didn't waste his time - ha ha!!
    I hope the water is starting to subside around your area???? Or is there more on the way?
    Great and amusing reporting.
    Colin (HB)

  4. Well done mama! And fabulous photos, Fiona. Will pick up Linda Woodrow's book, thanks for the tip. Can't wait to get some chooks and knowing they will be the ones working this rocky slope will be very satisfying! G

  5. twins (of a sort!) what a good mama!

    Have just stumbled across your blog and have enjoyed very much dipping into it here and there (and thanks for the inspirational birthday cake with the chocolate things!was short on ideas for upcoming 8th birthday). So pleased that there is a another country woman blogging about her very real life! (I am sure there are others out there, but haven't come across many!) I will be a regular visitor!
    PS my kids attend a one teacher school with nine students - I am SO pleased I do not have to teach them!



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