A DAIRY farmer was taken aback when one of his cows gave birth to not one, not two, but three calves - something which is believed to be incredibly rare.

The triplets were born at Stephen Postlethwaite's farm at Old Hutton, and such an occurrence is thought to happen only once in every 75,000 births.

And after a slight health scare over one the calves, all three of the lucky Belgian blue Fresian crosses are thriving and enjoying their young lives.

Mr Postlethwaite said: "We have never had this in 49 years of farming. Normally there would just be one calf born, and in every 100 or so births, you might get one or two cows who might have twins.

"But it is very unusual for this to happen, and it is particularly unusual for them all to be fit and well."

It was the seventh calving for the 10-year old mother, who gave birth to the triplets without veterinary help.

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