Saskatchewan beef cow gives birth to quadruplet heifers

It’s not rare for a cow to conceive twins (though triplets are rare), but the odds of a cow conceiving quads is about 1 in 700,000. The odds of those calves being born alive is 1 in 11.2 million, give or take, but at least one Saskatchewan ranch hit the jackpot.

Mark and Erin van Haastert of Bjorkdale, Sask., had quite the surprise on April 19, 2024, when a very confused, eight-year-old commercial Charolais/Simmental/Angus cow, who had never had twins before gave birth to quads, unassisted.

The four heifer calves averaged around 50 pounds and were approximately three weeks early, says Erin. The calves have no distinguishing markings so Erin says they have used colour markers to differentiate between the four, which has also inspired their names so far: Orangala, Greenelope, Bluethany and Nobody, named by the van Haastert kids James, 16, Avalene, 13 and Vidalia, 12.

The calves are still on the cow but are being supplemented with bottles to make sure they are getting adequate amount of milk, Erin says. The (we assume) proud daddy is a Simmental bull, and Erin says the calves were conceived during the regular breeding season, not using AI. The only thing they did differently last year was change up their mineral program.

(Photo supplied)

The van Haasterts have shared the announcement on Facebook where they’ve posted plenty of photos and videos of the once-in-a-lifetime calf crop.

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Categories: Cattle / Livestock / News / Western Canada