Farmer steaks claim on record as tiny bovine welcomes a little bundle of joy

NewsBy Lynne Kelleher
SMALL WONDERS: Little Aine and Ella
SMALL WONDERS: Little Aine and Ella

Meet Aine – the tiny newborn daughter of the world’s smallest cow.

Her four-year-old mother Ella – who is set to enter the record books as the world’s smallest cow – stands at just 31 inches tall.

But the adorable, five-day-old calf is half her diminutive mother’s size, measuring just 15 inches high.

Aine – named after owner Henry Judge two-year-old granddaughter – was born this week in a paddock in Oxhill Stud, Dromore West, Co. Sligo.

Farmer Henry said the adorable Dexter calf barely comes up to his knee.

“She is just short of my knee. She’s about half the size of our sheepdog and could walk under the belly of a normal calf.”

“This calf is going to be called after my granddaughter Aine, who is two. She was here when she calved. 

“I’ve two granddaughters who were born within three days of each other, Ella Grace and Aine, so we said we would call the calf Aine seeing as the mammy is called Ella.”

Ella, a Dexter cow from Sligo, stands at 31 inches which is two inches shorter than an English cow called Swallow who is the current holder of the record for the smallest cow.

Henry is confident that Ella will secure her slot in the next Guinness Book of Records as the shortest cow.

‘‘I’d would dearly love Ella to be in the Guinness Book of Records.  They told me it would happen for the 2015 book. 

“At the moment there is one there measured by the Guinness Book of Records, but this one is nearly two inches shorter.

“Ella would walk under the kitchen table. I have a pig that was bigger than her and she was no bigger than a terrier when she was born.

“Ella can be measured by the Guinness Book of Records now as she was four years old last April.”

The Sligo farmer said people have jetted in from all over the world to look at the famous Irish cow.

“People have come from London, Chicago, Boston, we even had people from New Zealand here.

“I enjoy having the cow. I was offered an awful lot of money, but I wouldn’t sell her. A businessman told me I could name my figure.”

But he said when Ella was first born he had made the decision she was destined “for the freezer” as she was so small he didn’t think she would survive having a calf.

 “When she was born we actually thought there was something wrong with her because she was so small.

“She was nominated as a little heifer that would go in the freezer.  I thought with the size of her that she would die in calving.

“When we were letting them out in the spring she was not even a year old. I thought she was showing signs of being in calf and low and behold she was.”

But he said the tiny young cow amazed him by calving a non-short male, which are a longer-legged version of the Dexter cows.

“We put her in a small paddock the first year and thought she would maybe have a caesarean and I got up one morning and she had a male who was nearly as big as her. There he was suckling away on her.

“She has definitely earned her right to be in the Guinness Book of Records.”