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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Tomás O Mainnín via Twitter
# over the moo-n
Four identical calves have been born in Co Clare. The farmer couldn't be happier
The odds of four identical calves born are estimated at around a billion to one.

ON SUNDAY, FOUR identical calves were born at a farm outside Ennistymon, Co Clare.

The odds of such a birth are about a billion to one, according to geneticists who calculated the chances after a similar situation in Norfolk, England over a decade ago.

Today, “the proudest farmer in Ireland” Tom Clair spoke to Áine Lawlor on RTÉ’s News at One about the unlikely birth of the identical quadruplets.

He’d been expecting the cow to have twins, due to her size. Clair had last checked on the cow late on Saturday night and thought she’d make it to the morning without giving birth.

calves 2 Tomás O Mainnín Tom (on the right) is delighted with the calves. Tomás O Mainnín

“I came down then at half seven on Sunday morning,” he said, “and when I got down there were two calves standing in front of her.”

Then, the farmer noticed a third calf lying by the cow’s side. So, he put the three together before he heard a “another little moo”.

I looked down at the three, and knew the little moo wasn’t coming from them.

“There he was then standing outside in the yard,” Clair said. “It was unbelievable, Áine.”

When asked if he felt like he won the Lotto when he saw the fourth, he said that you get a lot more satisfaction out of a calf any day than you would from winning the Lotto.

The mother of the four is a Hereford cross while the father is a Charolais bull.

Clair gave the mother all the credit for carrying the identical quadruplets, giving her a chance to rest by hand feeding the calves for the last few days.

The farmer added that it was a “pure novelty” for many as people from all over the area came to visit to see the calves.

Mia, Rosey, Fluffy and Jenny are doing well and, nearly a week later, Clair is still as excited as the celebrations continue in Ennistymon.

Read: Children who grow up on farms less likely to suffer with allergies

Read: ‘Cattle and sheep are being hand-fed and prepped to be taken by criminals’

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