Thursday 29 September 2016

No bull - Shorty could be world's smallest cow

Paddy Clancy

Published 27/07/2015 | 02:30

The tiny newborn calf and a newborn normal sized calf at the Vance farmyard near Ballintra in Co Donegal with Nathan Vance aged 4. Photo: Jason McGarrigle
The tiny newborn calf and a newborn normal sized calf at the Vance farmyard near Ballintra in Co Donegal with Nathan Vance aged 4. Photo: Jason McGarrigle

A tiny calf little more than a foot high could become the world's smallest cow.

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Shorty, as farmer James Vance's family are calling her, is the daughter of Ruby and grand-daughter of Ella, which last year competed for entry in the 'Guinness Book of Records' as the world's shortest cow.

Ella, at 78cm, was hailed as the world's shortest for several months before she was beaten to the title by Manikyam, at 61.5cm, from a farm in Kerala, India.

James and his wife Laura believe Shorty, when she is fully grown, could win the title back for Ireland.

Speaking from the family farm in Ballinacarrick, Co Donegal, James said: "She is the smallest calf I have ever seen. She is little more than half-way up my wellie."

Shorty was born on Friday night to Ruby, a rare Dexter animal who is about the same size as her own mother, Ella, who lives on a farm in Dromore West, Co Sligo.

Shorty's father, Tyson, is only 18-months-old and is also owned by James.

He said: "Ruby went into labour on Friday morning and she delivered Shorty at 11pm that night. I had a long night because I stayed with her until 4am on Saturday morning, making sure she and her calf settled down nicely before I felt I could leave."

Twelve hours earlier, another calf was born on the farm, several times the size of little Shorty.

She was a Limousin weighing 70kg. Shorty only weighs 18kg. She is no bigger than a full-grown terrier. Her mother Ruby can walk under the kitchen table.

Diminutive Shorty has already been adopted as a pet by the Vances' son, four-year-old Nathan.

The family won't know for three years, until she is fully grown, if Shorty will qualify as the world's smallest cow.

Irish Independent

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