'She is like a little koala bear': One of Ireland's tiniest calves born on Sligo farm

One of Ireland's tiniest calves has arrived into the world - measuring just over a foot high.

'She is like a little koala bear': One of Ireland's tiniest calves born on Sligo farm

One of Ireland's tiniest calves has arrived into the world – measuring just over a foot high.

The tiny week-old calf stands just as high as her owner’s welly.

The diminutive female is the ninth offspring of Ella, a Dexter cow known for being one of the shortest cows on the planet.

Rosa is the latest addition to the Dexter cow dynasty at Oxhill Stud, Dromore West, Co Sligo. Dexters are the smallest of the European cattle breeds, standing at about half the size of a traditional Hereford and just one-third of a Friesian milking cow.

Sligo farmer Henry Judge said the newborn calf measures just up to the top of his welly.

“Ella gave birth on Valentine’s Day, she had a female," he said.

“She is very, very small, she’s only up to the top of my welly. We also have a picture of her standing in an 18-inch pipe.

“She is like a little koala bear. This little girl is so cute looking.”

The new calf, Rosa
The new calf, Rosa

Sligo cow Ella – who stands at a tiny 78cm - was hailed as the world's shortest for several months a few years ago before she was beaten to the title by Manikyam, at 61.5cm, from a farm in Kerala, India.

Her owner has always maintained that his ten-year-old Dexter cow is genuinely the world’s most petite cow as the tiny Indian contender has no womb so she can’t be classed as a cow under the Oxford dictionary.

“I would still say that I still have the smallest cow in the world because the animal in India is a dwarfed bovine," Mr Judge said.

“It doesn’t have a womb so it has never had a calf or never can have a calf.”

But he said he doesn’t need to have his much-loved cow in the Guinness Book of Records to know her worth.

“I’m glad I’ve had her. I’ve had great fun out of her. She’s a great gatherer at shows and she’s done a lot of fund-raising for various charities.”

He said 10-year-old Ella is a very natural mother.

“She is a fantastic mother," Mr Judge said.

“She is used to humans. Some cows, when they calf, you would be afraid to go into the field but Ella will let you clean the calf.

Rosa on the farm.
Rosa on the farm.

“She is a very gentle type, she’s a great mother.”

He said the Dexter cattle started to breed at a much younger age than other cow breeds.

“I never thought she would go in calf because she was so small. She went away to give birth and I spent two days looking for her as I thought she was dead.

“And then I saw her coming up the field with her little baby with her.

“Dexters are different from normal cows, they grow very fast and are mature at a year. They mature much quicker than your Charleroi or your Belgian Blue.

“They all go in calf at around a year old but the conventional animals would be calving at around three years old whereas Dexters are a year and eight months.”

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