Among the milestones of a cow-calf rancher's calendar is springtime, when the cute little calves are welcomed to the pasture.
While it takes most of a year before the babies will provide much income, calving season is always special, Tim Myers said, and critical to any operation.
The Salina Journal reports that it's been that way for generations at his family's operation in southern Ottawa County, where he farms and ranches with his brother, Sean, and their father, Ray.
But this spring is different, with many gestations resulting in double the faces from a cross of Hereford and Angus cattle. The family has counted 13 sets of twins this season.
"It's more than normal," Tim Myers said, and probably the most ever for the Myers ranch.
The family has been in the cow-calf business for most of a century. Their grandfather, Darrell Myers, was in the calf production business since the 1940s, Tim said.
"I can remember having eight to 10 (sets of twins) in one year," he said.
Regardless of how many arrive at once, the calves are a thrill to Tim and Becky Myers' children, 13-year-old Abby, and 8-year-old Ryan, and their circle of friends. Word of the twin births have impressed fellow parishioners at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in nearby Minneapolis.
"Community members come out to look at them," Tim Myers said.
Neighbors have purchased one calf for a 4-H project, and Ryan's favorite will be his bucket calf project this summer. The bull calf's name is Ned, after Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost.
"We bring them up and put them in a close pen so they bond. We make sure both are nursing and that the mom is claiming both of them," Myers said.
Rejection hasn't been an issue during calving this year that lasts roughly from Jan. 20 to May 1. Of the 13 sets of twins, he said, three calves did not survive, but thanks to the mild spring weather, most of the new recruits are flourishing.
Twins are normally born weighing 50 to 60 pounds apiece, Myers said, while a single birth usually weighs 75 to 80 pounds.
"We've been blessed this year with how good calving has gone," Myers said.