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Sask. family’s cow gives birth to rare set of quadruplets

During the province’s last snow dump, one Saskatchewan cattle farming couple received more than snow. A mother cow gave birth to not one but four calves.

On the morning of April 19 about 24 miles south of Tisdale, Sask, Mark and Erin Van Haastert initially discovered one of their cows had given birth to three calves.

Mark van Haastert

“I grabbed them and just took them into the barn to get them warm because they were quite weak and quite small,” said Erin.

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“Then Mark went back about three-quarters of an hour later to get the mom cow so she could be with her babies. And that’s when we discovered she’d had a fourth one.”

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The four calves named Orangala , Greenelope , Bluethany and Nobody were born two-weeks premature. But with extra TLC, the quads are doing fine.

“They have defied all the odds,” said Erin. “They’ve just grown every day and got stronger and stronger. It took them about two days before they were all up and walking … They’re just absolutely thriving.”

The Van Haasterts’ say quadruplet calves are not unheard of, but they are definitely rare, especially in the prairies.

“Twins are fairly common in beef cows. Triplets are uncommon but you do hear of them. But quadruplets …  I can’t even say a group of them,” said Erin. “I’ve never seen a live set before. And I’ve never known anyone who’s had a live set before.”

A Saskatchewan cattle family are celebrating the birth of quadruplet calves, a rare sight to see in the prairies. Photo supplied / Mark van Haastert

The Van Haasterts’ shared their unique moment on social media, gaining a lot of attention from many curious onlookers.

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“Didn’t realize we had that many friends,” said Mark. “We kind of set a milestone with these calves … we figured if we get through the first 24 hours then it was the first two days. And now, today you can barely catch them. (They’re) running like a bugger.”

The Van Haastert family will continue to look after their cattle family and treasure the miracle of one of their own birthing four baby calves.

“The odds of a cow conceiving quads is 1 in 700,00,” said Erin. “The odds of those calves being born alive is 1 in 11.2 million.”

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