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rare calf beats the odds to be born

PUBLISHED: 11:58 30 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:03 03 March 2010

STAFF and visitors at Baylham Rare Breeds Farm are today celebrating the birth of a rare Shetland cow.

Despite fears the calf had died during the pregnancy, Baylham Allis, one of less than 150 breeding Shetland cows remaining, gave birth to a heifer calf.

STAFF and visitors at Baylham Rare Breeds Farm are today celebrating the birth of a rare Shetland cow.

Despite fears the calf had died during the pregnancy, Baylham Allis, one of less than 150 breeding Shetland cows remaining, gave birth to a heifer calf.

Richard Storer, who runs the farm with his wife Ann, and son Neil, said: "We're absolutely delighted. We were very worried about the birth because our vet had examined Allis the previous week and said the calf was very small."

The Shetland, together with two other breeds, is on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust's list of cattle breeds deemed to be in a critical state.

Allis is one of three Shetlands at the farm and gave birth to a stillborn calf around two years ago.

After being four days late and showing no sign of giving birth, a vet was called in to induce the birth on Wednesday after fears the same fate could happen again.

Mr Storer said: "Because of the calf's small size and Allis' failure to give birth at the normal time, we were quite expecting to find something was wrong and the calf may have been born dead or malformed in some way.

"Instead we've got a perfect little Shetland calf with nice markings who has made her mother very happy and justifiably proud."

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