THOMASVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — A horse gave birth to twin mules in a rare occurrence their owners are calling it a miracle.
“They usually don’t survive the birth because they’ll both try and come out at the same time,” said Cheryl Fellers, newborn mule owner.
The odds were against Little Joe and Harley. They are five-day-old twin mules born on Butch and Cheryl Fellers’ farm.
It was the twin’s mom Gypsy’s second pregnancy.
“She was bred last year. May 22-25 .. we expected the baby to be born … end of April,” Cheryl said.
The Fellers waited 363 days for what they thought would be one baby mule.
“We had her in a stall four weeks, five weeks. No baby,,” Cheryl said. “We had no idea there were twins.”
Gypsy’s pregnancy seemed normal.
“She did not appear to be carrying twins. She wasn’t like double the size,” Cheryl said.
The Fellers started to worry when there was no birth after 11 months.
“We had the vet come out, and they checked her, and they said, ‘oh, the baby’s fine.’ So they didn’t know there was two neither. They couldn’t tell,” Butch said.
Their wait ended with a surprise on Sunday when they found Gyspy in their field with not one but two babies.
“I thought it was our goat, and … I got closer, and I said, oh, my gosh. There’s a baby out there,” Cheryl said.
It’s a rare birth with low survival rates, according to Extension Horses, which is a national cooperative extension resource. Of all twin pregnancies, 9% will reportedly carry both twins to term.
“Potentially, if a horse goes to term with twins … all three of them will die,” Cheryl said.
“I guess because the little one was laying up under the big one,” Butch said.
The miracle twins Little Joe and Harley got their names for a reason.
“They were conceived during a bike rally last year and born during the bike rally this year. The taller one is Harley” Cheryl said. “My granddaughter’s name is Josalyn, and I told her if we had a little boy, we’re going to name it after her. So the little one is named Little Joe.”
Both are healthy and nursing from their mother in the Fellers’ barn.
“The first 72 hours is the hardest … they’re alive and kicking on day five,” Cheryl said.
For the next six months, the twins will finish nursing from their mom and will begin training.
“They’re godsend … they’re here for a reason. So we’re here. We’re keeping them. They’re our babies,” Cheryl said.