A Rare case of a Holstein Cow gives birth to Quadruplet (four) heifer calves
(By, Anna Lanfresch, Dairy farmer John Zuppan, Orlando, California)
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IDENTICAL AND FRATERNAL TWINS:
=>There are two types of twins identical (monozygotic) and fraternal (dizygotic).
=>Identical (monozygotic) twins form when a single fertilised egg (ovum) splits in two. Fraternal (dizygotic) twins develop from two eggs fertilised by two sperm, and are no more alike than individual brothers or sisters (siblings) born at different times.
=>To form identical twins, one fertilised egg (ovum) splits and develops two babies with exactly the same genetic information. This differs from fraternal twins, where two eggs (ova) are fertilised by two sperm and produce two genetically unique calves, who are no more alike than individual siblings born at different times.
Regarding the above case… What are the odds of all-girl quadruplet calves being born and actually surviving the birth? That would be 1 in 179.2 million, according to HLN affiliate KRCR.
A local veterinarian confirmed they are indeed quadruplets. KRCR reports that Dr. Michael Karle ran DNA tests using the calves’ hair and learned that two of them are identical twins, while the other two are fraternal.
Dairy farmer John Zuppan told the Chico Enterprise Record that in his 69 years on the job, this is a first. Karle first thought the cow was only having one pair of twins, which is rare enough. He said twins are born about 1 percent of the time. So he was especially stunned to see her give birth to quadruplets.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes. I just kept looking and looking and looking. I finally came to the conclusion there were four new babies from one cow,” Karle told HLN affiliate KFSN.
Karle says each Holstein calf weighed a little less than usual at birth — only 60-65 pounds instead of the common 85 pounds — but that they are otherwise in good physical shape.
Zuppan says the rare family of bovine sisters will be raised together, staying on the farm to join the dairy herd when they’re older.