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Get Shorty! Tiny calf set to enter record books as world's smallest

By Paddy Clancy

Published 27/07/2015

James Vance and his son Nathan (4) with the newborn calf and mother at their farmyard near Ballintra in Co Donegal and, (above) Nathan with Shorty next to a standard sized animal
James Vance and his son Nathan (4) with the newborn calf and mother at their farmyard near Ballintra in Co Donegal and, (above) Nathan with Shorty next to a standard sized animal
Nathan (4) with the newborn calf
Nathan with Shorty next to a standard sized animal

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

Shorty, as farmer James Vance's family are calling her, is the daughter of Ruby and granddaughter of Ella which last year competed for entry in the Guinness Book 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 on a farm in Kerala, India.

James and his wife Laura believe their 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 halfway up my wellie."

Shorty was born last Friday night to Ruby, a rare Dexter animal who is about the same size as her own mother Ella which 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, 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 and 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 bovine.

Belfast Telegraph

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