Cow in Northeast Texas Defies Odds, Gives Birth to 4 Calves

March 28, 2015 11:12 AM
Cow in Northeast Texas Defies Odds, Gives Birth to 4 Calves

A cow in Northeast Texas has apparently defied great odds and given birth to four calves that have been named Eeny, Meeny, Miny and Moo.

Jimmy Barling said Monday that DNA tests will be done on tissue samples from the three bull calves and the one heifer calf to satisfy those who may question the births from one mother.

"We knew she was pregnant, but we didn't know she was going to do this," the 76-year-old Barling said. "This was a shock. This blew our minds."

Barling's wife, Dora Rumsey-Barling, owns the couple's 20 or so cattle outside of DeKalb, near the Arkansas and Oklahoma borders. Rumsey-Barling's granddaughter named the four black calves Eeny, Meeny, Miny and Moo, Barling said.

Local veterinarian Mike Baird called the March 16 births "extremely rare." He said the odds of four live births from one cow are 1 in 11.2 million. Baird knows the couple well and is nearly certain the four came from one mother, rather than a nearby cow perhaps birthing one or two and then moving along so that it appeared the four came from the Barling's cow.

"In the interest of science and the animal world, it's one of those things that need to be verified beyond a shadow of a doubt," he said.

The couple watched the birth of the fourth calf after going to check on her when they saw buzzards circling above a field.

Because the mother cow is unable to nurse all four calves, the couple are relying on neighbors to help. Moo has stayed with her mother, while Eeny, Meeny and Miny are with two different caretakers. Meeny is the smallest of the calves, weighing in at about 25 pounds.

A typical healthy birth weight for a calf is 75 pounds. Standing has also been difficult for some of the quadruplets.

Back to news



Spell Check

Jim & Dora Barling
New Boston, TX
4/20/2015 09:10 PM

  Just an update on the Quads as they just pass their one month birthday. The DNA tests have validated that all calves are true siblings and the mother cow with ear tag #15 is the true mother of the Quads. We knew this all along but wanted it validated. We have had some health issues with two of the calves but now that seems to have been over come. Our main objective was to keep all four alive and growing. One remains on his mother and is growing and acting as a normal calf. The other three are being bottle fed and are also growing but are stinking pets as you might expect. We are truly blessed in having excellent people who have volunteered to take on the job of bottle feeding the three calves in that the mother cow did not have enough milk to support but one of her calves. Now we are most hopeful that all four are going to survive and grow and develop into the animals that they should. For those of you that are familiar with Facebook, you can find Eeny, Meny, Miny, and Moo now have their own Facebook page and we will be putting information on this page and they grow and develop. I do hope some of you take the time to go see the amazing animals.....these one in 11.2 million that were born alive and are still alive and growing. Amazing!!


Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer