March 8, 1998 in Nation/World

Four Calves Delivered By Cow In Alberta Simmental-Red Angus Had Earlier Multiple Births

Associated Press

A cow on a Canadian farm has given birth to four healthy calves in what veterinarians called an extremely rare incident, the Edmonton Sun reported Saturday.

The two bull and two heifer calves, averaging 59 pounds each, were born without the use of fertility drugs at a ranch owned by the Ridge Valley Hutterite Colony near Valleyview, 200 miles northwest of Edmonton, the capital, the report said.

“I’ve heard of it once in my 30 years,” Dr. Reuben Mapletoft, a animal reproduction specialist at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, told the paper.

He said the multiple birth of four calves probably only occurs once in several hundred thousand births or even less frequently.

Ranch manager Ed Walters said his 5-year old Simmental-Red Angus cow has had multiple births every year for the last four years without the aid of fertility drugs.

“First three times she had twins and now, the fourth time she calved, it was the four. That’s 10 calves in four tries,” he said.

Dennis Gress, a veterinarian who watched as Walters delivered the animals on Feb. 19, said he’s never seen anything like it.

“In my 20 years, I’ve known one set of triplets in the country around here.”

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