While many were getting ready for the New Year, Barrackpore farmer Ashbar Ali was welcoming three babies to the family.
His cow gave birth to triplets, which is exceedingly rare.
The cow, named Shiny, gave birth to three female calves on December 30.
An ecstatic Ali said he was shocked when he saw the calves, all of which are healthy.
“I had tied her (Shiny) out in the field to graze and when I came back to check on her which was about 5 p.m. I saw all four of them watching me. I was standing there for 15 minutes. I was in shock. When I told my family, they didn't believe me until they saw it themselves. I was expecting the cow to have the babies sometime in January not at that time, but all four of them are healthy,” said
Ali, of Realise Road, had Shiny for the past seven years and was the first time she had multiple calves. Shiny has produced four single births previously.
This is likely the first recorded live birth of triplet calves in the country.
Ali said that he has heard of twins births but never of triplet births when it comes to cows.
Animal Health Assistant for the Ministry of Agriculture Manmohan Ramnarine visited the farmer.
He said in his 30 years in dealing with animals, this was the first time he has seen this occurrence.
Ramnarine provides vet-like services to farmers and gave an update on the calves.
He said: “The mother would not be able to provide feeding for all the calves so if there is another cow that recently had a calf and that farmer is willing, the calves can get milk from there, but there are supplements which can be given. For all the years I have been doing this, I have never seen a triplet birth with cows.”
Veterinarian Dr Jevan Sieusankar, said the odds of having such a birthing worldwide is rare and that the farmer should be proud of this event.
The last record of multiple births was in Mexico in 2005 where in a single birth a cow had five calves.
Sieusanker said the survival of the calves would depend on the cow's milk production and the farmer's ability to care for the calves.
However, he said that supplements can be given to the calves.
The calves are yet to be named and for now, Ali has tied coloured strands of cloth to tell them apart.