Adam Westaway, who milks 80 cows at Philham Farm near Chulmleigh, in Devon, received a special delivery on his farm recently, finding twin calves from different breeds born to one Friesian cow.
The Hereford heifer calf and Belgian Blue bull calf were born in quick succession and are doing well.
Adam, who producers organic milk for OMSCo has in recent years changed his breeding policy to one that is now focussed on breeding cows that suit his farming system.
“With experience, I have found that the Holstein bulls are too extreme, and have made a conscious switch to British Friesian. This is also due to the greater choice of British Friesian bloodlines. The last couple of years have seen 90% of the herd bred to British Friesian and the remainder bred to a beef straw.”
And it was one of these straws that proved doubly successful recently. “I went out to the field and was absolutely delighted to find healthy Belgian Blue calf, but soon realised that another calf was being born,” says Adam. “I used a Genus Fertility Plus® straw, which has a combination of three breeds in it. But you never expect to see two completely different calves born. I did a double take, because I knew the first calf was a Belgian Blue. It’s quite a sight to see, and the fourth set of twins this year, which I think reflects the fertility of the herd.”
Adam plans to sell both calves through Sedgemoor market during October.