Unusual birth in Spanish village: calf with two heads

by Lorraine Williamson
calf born with 2 heads

The probability of guessing the winning combination in the Primitiva is much more common than the birth of a two-headed calf. The farmer Miguel Fuentes Garrote, who will retire in a few months, has won “the lottery of his existence” after 48 years of working on his extensive livestock farm in Piñuel (Zamora).

Never before had Fuentes, who bottle-fed the two-headed calf for two days, seen such a genetic malformation. Last Tuesday afternoon, one of his “toughest” cows gave birth in terms of character, but also one of the cows that gave him the best performance. The cow has calved about fifteen times and in all those times she managed to give birth to her calf, which is already unique. The cow that gave birth to the atypical two-headed calf is a cross between Blonda and Limousin and the sire is a Limousin bull from France.

Calf with four eyes, two noses, two mouths

“It must have been around 6.30 pm,” he explained, and it was half an hour later when he observed the newborn. The calf had managed to get up and be suckled, but suddenly fell down and could not get back up.

“It wasn’t just any calf, I saw something unusual about it. It had two heads attached to each other, with four eyes, two noses, two mouths, and two tongues. A deformity that is a rarity and occurs very sporadically in the world”

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The mother cow did not let the farmer come near her and this peculiar calf with polycephaly lay on its belly all night. The next day, Fuentes managed to give bottles. That seemed to go well and the calf showed a little more strength. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long, on Thursday the animal deteriorated. He could no longer stand up or stand, and “what I gave him in one mouth came out of the other mouth.”

Vagaries of biology

It is conjecture to explain this case of the two-headed specimen. The only thing the farmer can think of is that the mother suffered from the viral disease EHD last August, when she was impregnated. This disease, transmitted by a mosquito, can lead to abortions and fetal malformations. Never before have there been reports of cases of double headedness as a result of the disease.

Also read: Animal poisoning in Zamora

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