2-headed calf born in county

Published 12:11 am Friday, March 7, 2014

NATCHEZ — An Adams County farmer delivering a calf Thursday morning got a surprise when the animal was born with one tail, four legs and two heads.

The calf was born in north Adams County, and the farmer — who did not want to be named — is a long-time producer in the area, Adams County Extension Service Agent David Carter said.

Click here to see a picture of the two-headed calf. Warning: The image contains graphic content.

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The calf was carried to term and was fully developed, but did not live beyond delivery, Carter said.

The two heads were also fully developed, Carter said.

The cow had trouble birthing the calf, and the farmer had to have two neighbors help him deliver the animal.

“This is something with animals that is very rare, but when you see something like this, it is usually animals with backwards legs,” Carter said.

“With these things, it is usually a coincidence of these two (parent) animals that had negative recessive genes, and even when two animals have those genes, the odds of something like this are very slim and usually the long-term survival rate is very short.”

The extension agent said he has never seen a two-headed calf before and does not think Adams County has had a similar birth before. Carter said he called other extension offices that deal with a lot of cattle, and they told him they had never seen one, either.

“You can go to places where you can see them on display, but to see them born naturally is rare,” he said. “There is nothing management-wise that can help cause, or treat or cure, something like this.”

Carter said he is discussing with the animal’s owner what might be done with the body and is trying to get in touch with someone at Louisiana State University to look at it.