Can you help NI woman trying to find home for calf born with six legs?
A Northern Ireland woman is trying to find a home for a remarkable calf, who was given a fleeting chance of survival after being born with six legs.
The calf arrived last year with two extra legs hanging from its shoulders and the farmer who owned him was advised to have him put down.
Having defied the odds to survive the farmer then contacted Mama Hen Mladek who helps with the rehoming of farm animals, specialising in hens.
Mama Hen, who had her named changed from Barbara by deed poll due to her passion for saving hens from slaughter, said: “He’s survived against all the odds and the farmer is looking to find someone who would be willing to take him and keep him as a pet. He’s a lot smaller than the rest of his herd.
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“The smaller of the two extra legs may be able to be removed, but their vet said the larger one is attached to his spine and it would be too risky to try.
“I’m hoping there is someone out there that will be able to help. It’s not practical for the farmer to keep him as he would have to keep him apart from all the others and that wouldn’t be fair on him.”
Mama Hen, who has run Northern Ireland Battery Hen Rescue since 2011, said: “Whoever takes him would need to have correct facilities, somewhere to allow it to be out during the lighter months and indoors during the winter months. He also couldn’t be kept on his own. Cows are very sociable creatures, so he would need maybe another cow or a couple of cows to bond with.”
Asked if she’d ever seen any animals with extra limbs before, Mama Hen said: “I have in the past heard of this happening. I think it’s because there had initially been twins but then one didn’t develop and they ended up melding into the one, that’s why it has the extra legs.
“I’ve seen three or four legged chickens. The same can happen with people having extra limbs.”
Of the calf she is helping to find a home for, she said: “The first vet had said ‘just slaughter him, he’ll not live’. He has lived.
“The second vet was much better, he said the smaller of the two legs could be removed, but the larger one seems to be attached to his spine.
“He’s doing really well. He’s a very happy, contented wee man.”
Mama Hen’s father came to Northern Ireland from Czechoslovakia in the late 30s.
She grew up in Belfast but later moved to Moira to realise her dream of keeping animals.
She said: “I’ve always had this passion about animals. I wanted a bit of land somewhere where I could have my dogs, have my cats, chickens and maybe some goats. I’ve had even rescue donkeys before. Now we’re just concentrating on poultry.”
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