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In A Rare Feat, Twin Longhorn Calves Born at Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site


Twin Longhorns -- it's not every day that they're born into the ranching world, and Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site can claim being home to one set. These shots, taking some weeks apart, show how quickly the calves are growing. NPS photos.

It's not every day twin calves are born in the ranching world, and it's rarer still to have the twins be Longhorn calves. But that's the situation at Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site in Montana.

The twins -- one red, the other gray -- not only beat the odds, but, actually, smashed them.

"Twinning in Longhorns occurs only 0.4 percent of the time (or 1 in 140 births), far less than any other cattle breed, with dairy being the highest at 4 percent," said Dr. Robert Kropp, a professor of animal science at Oklahoma State University, when told of the births by Grant-Kohrs officials.

Longhorns are just one of the breeds that historically were present on the ranch, which dates to the mid-1800s. There also were Shorthorns and Herefords.

The twins' birthday is May 17th. When they entered the world, each weighed in at 35 pounds, which is the lowest birth weights recorded in the historic site's ranching history. To help the twins make it through their crucial first few weeks, they were given grass and grains supplemented with selenium and B-12, and their own pasture with a barn.

Park officials now are wondering what to call the twins.

"Since they are Texas Longhorns by genetics, we thought Barbara and Jenna," said Superintendent Laura Rotegard. "I would like to encourage our President to honor our rural heritage, and have considered Sasha and Malia, and because they were born on May 17th, Norway's Independence Day (and where I come from --Minnesota-- this matters), we have tossed about Sigurd and Inge."

Any suggestions, readers? If so, contact Superintendent Rotegard at [email protected] .

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