A Texas cow gave birth to four calves, a very rare occurrence in the bovine world. Dora Rumsey-Barling and her husband, Jimmy Barling, said the four black calves, a heifer and three bulls, are all doing well, as is their proud milk cow momma.
Dora Rumsey-Barling said the cow that gave birth to four calves is just simply a “run of the mill red cow.” The DeKalb, Texas, area cow had been bread to an Angus bull.
“We didn’t think she was due, even for one calf,” Rumsey-Barling said during an interview with local KSLA News 12.
The retired Texas couple spotted a plethora of buzzards circling over their expansive Hubbard farm on Monday afternoon. The birds flocked to within 500 yards from their home, near the cow pen. Dora and Jimmy walked over to investigate and found that their faithful milk cow had just given birth to three calves and had one more surprise on the way.
“We thought that was it. We were excited about having 3. She lay down and the fourth one started coming out and we watched the birth of the fourth one. It was really exciting. The adrenaline was flowing with us!”
The cow owners stayed all night with the calves to keep the buzzards from diving down on them. Cattle twins births are not extremely unusual, but a cow giving birth to four calves virtually defies the odds. The chances of cow quadruplets occurring are one in every 700,000 births. The odds of having all four calves come into the world alive are one in every 11 million, according to the Veterinary Obstetrics and Genital Diseases.
Had the Texas milk cow gone just 24 hours longer before giving birth to four calves, the miracle bulls and heifer would have been able to call Ag-Day 2015 their birthday. Dekalb area veterinarian Michael Baird helped the milk cow deliver the afterbirth and gave her a dose of antibiotics. During his nearly two decades in the field, Baird has seen twins and even a few sets of Siamese twins, but said he has never before witnessed an incident like the cow quadruplets.
“This is truly an amazing event, if you are into this sort of thing,” the Texas vet noted.
Dora Rumsey-Barling said that all four calves seem well-developed even though they are “just a bit small.” The Texas couple has named the miraculous cow quadruplets Eenie, Meenie, Minie, and Moe. Meenie is the smallest of the calves, weighing in at 25 pounds. A typical healthy birth weight for a calf is 75 pounds. Standing has also been a struggle for the quadruplets.
Two neighbors have been helping to raise three of the calves, one of which also had a birth from a Jersey cow on the same day, with the cow being able to spare the extra milk and nursing time. The fourth calf has remained on the Barling hobby farm with their other 100 head of cattle and is nursing from its mother.
What do you think about the Texas cow giving birth to four calves?
[Images via: Dora Rumsey-Barling/KSLA News 12]