By Polly Morphous
As a longtime farmer with 180 milking cows, Ted Volpers thought he had seen everything there was to see in the realm of dairy cattle. But two weeks ago, while doing routine field chores on his southern Minnesota farm, he witnessed a scene that left him wondering if his wife had slipped hallucinogenic mushrooms into his morning oatmeal.
Pausing to admire his acreage, Volpers noticed two bulls and two cows all nuzzling a third cow in a soft, grassy field to the west of the barn. One of the bulls he knew to be gay; the other was straight. Two of the cows were also distinct in that way—one was gay, one straight.
But the third cow, a well-built Holstein, had never shown a clear preference in either direction, and Volpers had always wondered why—until now. The cow’s affections most certainly went in all directions, including—if Volpers could believe the testimony of his own eyes—toward itself.
“I about fell over when I saw it,” said Volpers. “There was Bessie, a steady milk producer, showing sexual fondness not just for the two bulls, gay and straight; and not just for the two cows, gay and straight; but also taking real pleasure in a kind of self-massage. I’d never seen anything like it.”
Veterinarians from the University of Minnesota were summoned and, after four days of observation, confirmed that the cow was quintasexual. “The odds of coming across a ‘quint’ are about one in 2.7 billion,” said Dr. Lila Kippers, who chairs the Department of Bovine Sexuality. “In fact, the Farmer’s Almanac has recorded only two previous instances of quintasexuality in North America, and one of them was a person, a Gary Anderson who resided in, and may still reside in, the town of Five Forks, Iowa.”
As for Volpers, he’s turned the curious “quint” on his farm into a moneymaking attraction. “People can’t get enough of this,” he said. “They just stare and stare and stare, getting as up close as they can to what’s going on and snapping lots of photos. The rest of the cattle herd, though, they keep their distance.”