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A tale of three calves
Eleven-year-old Natalie Steiner and her mother, Liz Steiner, watch triplet calves that were born Friday night at the family farm south of Monroe. To order either of these photos, click here. (Times photo: Marissa Weiher)
CLARNO TOWNSHIP - When dairy farmer Josh Steiner checked his cattle early Saturday morning at his farm on County HK south of Monroe, he was shocked to find one of his cows had given birth to triplets.

Steiner, a fifth-generation farmer who has been farming for 16 years, had never had triplets before. The odds of triplets being born is rare.

"The amazing part is they're all alive and healthy. And what shocked me the most is she did it all on her own," Steiner said of the mother cow.

The calves - a heifer and two bulls who have been named Tina, Tom and Tim - are about 50 to 60 pounds each. Typically calves weigh about 80 pounds.

Steiner plans to raise the calves until they're ready to be bred and then decide what to do with them. The bulls could potentially be sold to his uncle. It won't be known if the heifer is sterile or not until a veterinarian comes to check on them in two to three weeks.

The Steiner's two daughters - Breann, 9, and Natalie, 11 - get to help feed the calves in the evenings. The family has about 160 cows with about 45 calves born in a year.

"I was amazed," said Liz Steiner, Josh's wife. "Honestly that's why I put it on Facebook right away. To have it happen on your own farm is just amazing."

The calves have since been perfectly healthy - aside from constantly falling over one another.

"It's definitely something different." Josh Steiner said. "Keeps life interesting."