September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
One of Kruger's 300 cows he milks on his farm near Wabasha, Minn., gave birth to a two-headed calf on May 19.
"I didn't think it was possible," said Kruger, who farms with his parents, Paul and Mary Jane, and sister, Amanda, in Wabasha County.
Kruger bought the cow while watching a sale at the Lanesboro Sales Barn online.
"Nobody was bidding and she would have gone to market, so I decided to bid. I only had to bid once," Kruger said. "I thought I got a good deal."
Although he didn't know the exact information for the cow, he knew she would be calving soon because she was springing up in the udder.
"When I brought her home, she looked amazing," Kruger said.
Two days later, she started calving; however after several hours the cow had not progressed. From what Kruger could tell, the feet were in the right position, but the head was down. He called in his vet, Nate Eversman, from the Plainview Veterinary Clinic, for help.
"When he got here, he said it was a good day for him, but when he reached in to check the calf, he told me it wasn't a good day anymore," Kruger said.
Eversman could feel that the calf had two heads and one body and determined that the calf must be delivered by C-section.
The bull calf was delivered alive and breathing.
"It was good sized. It wasn't a runt," said Kruger, who estimated the calf weighed about 110 pounds.
Although the calf was born with a regular body, it had two heads joined at the top of the neck. Although each had it's own jaw, they were crooked, Kruger said. The calf had four eyes along with three regular sized ears and one ear smaller than the rest. The two heads would breath simultaneously, and the two tongues would move in the same motions at the same time, Kruger said. The markings on the head were also similar.
"I've never seen anything like this before," Kruger said.
The calf could not hold up its heads. Kruger said he thinks that was the case because the two heads together weighed about 25 pounds.
When it came time for feeding, Kruger tried to feed milk through both mouths, but each one did not suck. Using a tube to feed the calf didn't seem to work either.
"I don't think everything was connected inside," Kruger said.
After about 20 hours, the calf died.
The cow that gave birth to the calf is still alive and making a recovery.
"She's still not 100 percent, but she's getting better. We will have to see how it goes," Kruger said. "There's still potential for her."
Although the purchase of this cow didn't end the way Kruger wanted it to, he won't shy away from buying cows. It's how his farm functions. When calves reach about six weeks old, the Krugers sell them to a heifer raiser. Although Kruger has the option to buy them back, he doesn't always purchase the animals he sold previously. Kruger visits sales and sales barns to complete his herd.
Kruger guesses he won't see another two-headed calf born on his farm during his dairying career.
"I was amazed," Kruger said. "It was unusual."
To Submit an Event Sign in first
No calendar events have been scheduled for today.