Cow defies odds and gives birth to healthy quadruplets


A Washington cow gave her rancher quite a surprise this calving season! Hay broker and rancher, Scott English, is used to seeing twin calves during this season but was shocked to find one of his 7-year-old Angus cross cows gave birth to quadruplets.

Quadruplets only occur in 1 out of 700,000 births and four live, healthy calves is a 1 in 11.2 million chance.

English and his wife, Kimberly, own English Hay Company. They also run 1,500 cow/calf pairs and a contract with Tyson Fresh Meats. The hay business allowed them to expand into cattle in 2007. After buying a group of cows from Southern Idaho, English noticed an unusual trend.

“Out of 125 replacement heifers, 17 of them had twins. This cow goes back to that original herd. There’s something there in the genetics that those Idaho cows are a bit more prone to have more than one calf,” he says. “A pretty typical year for us, running 1,500 cows, we’ll often have 25 sets of twins, and they primarily come out of that group of cows or their offspring.”

The calves are doing well. The three heifers are being bottle-fed while the bull calf remains with the cow.