Saturday 23 November 2019

Smallest cow in the world gives birth to calf on St Patrick’s day

Farmer Henry Judge with both cows
Farmer Henry Judge with both cows
Farmer Henry Judge with both cows

Aishling Phelan

The smallest cow in the world has given birth to a calf in Sligo.

The tiny Irish bovine ‘Ella’ is set to enter the Guinness World Record books standing at just 31 inches.

She calved on St. Patrick’s Day at her home in Oxhill Stud, Dromore West, Co Sligo and will encounter difficulties feeding her newborn because of her size.

Farmer Henry Judge named the long-legged male calf Patrick after he was born on the day celebrating the patron saint.

‘‘He was born on St. Patrick’s morning and we let Ella out of her shed because they like to go away to calf away from everyone,’’ he told

The proud farmer is confident that 3-year-old Ella will secure her slot in the next Guinness Book of Records as the shortest cow on the planet.

‘‘She deserves her place on the world records because she’s two inches shorter than the smallest one accounted for in England,’’ he said.

The current record holder is an English black Dexter called Swallow that stands two inches shorter than Ella.

He is waiting for officials to visit his farm to measure Ella and declare the record officially.

Mr Judge has a pig at his farmer that is taller than the unusual cow.

Ella had to be a fully grown adult of three years to be officially measured for the world record.

The diminutive cow gave birth last year to a regular-sized Dexter male calf.

She experienced problems when feeding her young as he had to crouch down to suckle under his petite mother.

‘‘That was a long-legged calf and Patrick is too so she will have the exact same problem again,’’ the farmer said.

The Sligo farmer named the tiny cow after RTÉ presenter Ella McSweeney as she was on his Oxhill Stud the day Ella’s mother calved and he promised he would name the newborn after her.

Ella was born in April 2010 and Mr Judge plans to keep her at his farmer for the next decade, hoping that she will produce a calf each year.

The farmer breeds Connemara ponies, the Dexter cows and Blackface Mountain sheep.

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