The Barnum & Bailey of Calving Oddities




Nonetheless, it’s a story to remember on the Floyd Ranch in Northeast Montana.  Being in business since 1913, it’s the only time this oddity has come about.  So what’s it like to have a two-headed calf appear in the middle of your calving check?

Although it has been several years since the experience, Floyd remembers it vividly.  During a routine check of the calving pasture, a family member alerted the rest to the oddity.  Floyd and her husband, Bruce, took the bait and followed along.   An unexpected natural birth, four eyes attached to one chocolate-brown body peered back at them when they reached their destination.

The family did the best they could.  Awe struck them when they watched both mouths suck simultaneously while bottle-feeding the calf.  Having a cleft pallet in both mouths prevented sufficient ingestion and tube-feeding ensued.  However, some fates cannot be avoided.  The curious calf slipped away after three days.


Being newlyweds with minimal means, the Floyds discussed the animal with a good friend, Joe Bergtoll, who paid to take the calf to the taxidermist.  A head mount of the unusual juvenile found its way to the back room of his Glasgow store, Town and Country Furniture, where it resided for over a decade.


As the years have ticked on, the memory remains.  Twenty years later, the Floyds made the choice to reimburse Bergtoll for his taxidermy expense and bring the calf home.  With a new home on the same ranch, plans are to set up the abnormal four eyes in Bruce’s office.

Have a calving oddity to share?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

© Haylie Shipp 2015

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