If there were a lottery for cattle producers, Keith Sistad just won it.
One of the Red Angus beef cows on his ranch near Fosston, MN, gave birth to four calves, all of which are healthy.
“I’ve never heard of quads before in cattle,” says Sistad. “And to have all the calves doing well makes it so much better.”
Quadruplets in beef cattle are extremely rare, although it’s difficult to come up with a hard number. One study found that about one in 665,000 dairy cows have quads, and that beef cattle are less likely than dairy cattle to have multiple births, says Doug Landblom, animal scientist with the North Dakota State University Extension Service in Dickinson. His main focus is on beef cattle.
He says he’s heard of beef cows giving birth to quads, but that in those cases at least one of the calves died.