Wednesday, December 19, 2007

And so he shall be know as...

Well, our new little calf seems to be doing well. I have him and Riona sectioned off in the alpaca side of the barn all by themselves. Riona has proven to be quite protective of him and head butts the fence if the alpacas or dogs come too close.

I have been trying to handle him as much as possible so he (hopefully) will not be afraid of me as he grows. This afternoon, I was rubbing his ears and I noticed that the tips of his ears which should come to a point like an inverted letter "V" in fact seemed to have notches in them that made the tips of his ears like the letter "M". I had never seen anything like this before. Since it affected both ears symmetrically I knew it was unlikely to be an injury.

I posted a question about it on the American Dexter Cattle Association chat site to see if anyone else had seen this before. Well, it turns out that the Dexter is one a few breeds that carry the "ear notching" co-dominant gene. It is not considered a fault in the breed but it was recommended not to breed for it as it can become severe and the ears end up looking like tulips! No worries with my little guy as he is destined for our freezer in 18 months anyway. But, I will have to be careful how I breed Riona to in the future.

So, in light of my little guys ears, I officially dubbed him "Nick". The name fits him well.

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