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Texas Cow Gives Birth To Quadruplets
Part-time farmer David Wilde of Burling-ton, Texas, got quite a shock recently when he went out to the barn and discovered that one of the 10 cows in his small beef herd had given birth to quadruplet calves.
The 13-year-old Simmental-cross cow had been bred to a registered Beefmaster bull. She full delivered a114 calves - 3 male and 1 female - without assistance and accepted full responsibility for all 4. They ranged in weight from 30 to 50 lbs. at birth, a bit under the average of 60 to 70 lbs., and at4 mos. of age weighed approximately 200 lbs. each.
Some say quadruple births are one in a million. Dr. Jim Sanders, associate professor of animal breeding and genetics at Texas A&M University says he doubts there's that many. "It's probably more like one in several million," he says, noting that triplets occur in about 1 of 10,000 births but that quadruplets are so rare, "We just don't have any experience with them."
Wilde and his wife, Linda, were surprised at how well all four calves got up and down soon after birth. They special-fed the mom in the weeks following the birth and also assisted with bottle-feeding of the calves for 12 weeks. After that they put the calves on a diet consisting of mother's milk, calf pellets, ground corn ,cotton seed and hay. Wilde says it was quite a sight watching all four calves nurse at once. "Once they got started they had to hang on because there was only one faucet per calf."
The mother is a 1,000 lb. cow that has had 11 other calves. She's only got one eye, having lost one to cancer three years ago. But she still manages to keep a sharp look-out over her family foursome.
"Usually if a mama cow has twins she kind of pushes one aside because she only expects one, but she's been looking after all four," says Linda.
The cow was bred to a bull which the Wildes share with Daniel's father. They did nothing special to encourage the multiple birth. "We just have 10 cows and a bull and we let them follow nature's course."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Daniel Wilde, Rt. 1, Box 103-A, Burlington, Tex. 76519.

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #1