When a farmer has a pregnant cow, they expect her to usually have only one baby calf. However, in Minnesota, a farmer was witness to one of the most incredibly rare births to have ever happened. It was an absolutely extraordinary moment to witness.
Chuck and Deb Beldo own a beautiful acreage of farmland out near Sebeka, Minnesota. The Beldo’s farm was Chuck’s great grandparents’ original homestead. They have about 120 head of cattle on their land and this season 50 momma cows were fixing to give birth.
The Beldos saw one particular momma cow was bigger than usual and thought she might have twins, but they never imagined four calves. They went about calving season keeping an eye on that one, knowing her birth will need some extra care.
When the momma cow went into labor, the Beldo’s quickly jumped into action as midwives. Assuming that she would have two calves it was a shock to Chuck when Deb held up three fingers. But he felt even greater astonishment when minutes later Deb held up four fingers.
What Are the Odds?
According to the “Veterinary Obstetrics and Genital Diseases,” the odds are 1 in 700,000 for a cow having quadruplet calves. And the odds are even greater if all four are born alive. That would be 1 in 11.2 million.
With odds like these, it is said that the Beldo’s have hit the bovine lottery.
Keeping them Alive
The Beldo’s began bottle feeding the calves every four hours, around the clock. They resorted to bottle feeding because the calves were so little, it made feeding on their momma extra difficult.
Beldo said that a typical calf weighs anywhere from 50 to 70 pounds, but these four weighed around 20 pounds each.
Chuck Beldo expressed his concerns about the calf’s survival.
“I think we are going to make it now. A week ago, I wouldn’t have bet a dime on it.”
When they were born and Beldo grabbed ahold of them, he says there was not much calf there. But he’s happy to report that the cows are filling out. They were able to feed the newborns after-birth maternal milk called colostrum. The neighboring dairy farm was able to supply the colostrum for the four calves.
Deb Beldo said, “That was a big part of their survival.”
The Beldo’s recently installed a bottle holder. As you can imagine holding a bottle for four rambunctious, growing calves might be quite the workout.
The quadruplets have been a new source of fun for the Beldo’s children and grandchildren. This is the sort of news that blows up on Facebook, and it did.
The news of this “against the odds” arrival has spread around the world.
“It’s just gone crazy,” Deb Beldo said with a laugh. “It’s a novelty, but I hope somebody else can have the next experience because once is enough.”
Watch the video to learn and see more about the incredible Mama Moo!
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