Extremely rare three-eyed cow born on Welsh beef farm

·2 min read
The otherwise healthy calf was born with a third eye. (Wales News)
The otherwise healthy calf was born with a third eye. (Wales News)

A farmer was left stunned when one of his calves was born with a third eye in the middle of its head.

A vet spotted the third eye on the calf, which is otherwise perfectly healthy, after it was born on a farm in Gwynedd, North Wales.

It has now been nicknamed Isaiah on social media because one eye is higher than the others. 

Beef farmer Jake Jones, 32, said he had never seen anything like it before at his farm at Brynmawr.

He said: "I asked the vet what it was while she was was testing it for TB and she said it was an eye!"

The calf is otherwise perfectly healthy, its vet said. (Wales News)
The calf is otherwise perfectly healthy, its vet said. (Wales News)

Vet Malan Hughes, from Pwllheli, shared a picture of the calf saying she "could not believe what we spotted today" and asking if anyone else had ever seen anything similar. 

Hughes said: "Having a calf or any animal with this impairment is extremely rare. I have never heard of, or seen one like this before.

"The calf seems perfectly healthy. We were doing other work with the herd when we noticed the fault. He will surely live a normal life for such an animal."

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She added: "Vets tend to see all sorts of things - cyclops lambs and animals born with two heads – but I have never seen anything like this before.

"From the outside the extra eye looks fine. It has eyelids and eyelashes, and it is moist too, as if some kind of lubricant is being secreted.

"But it’s impossible to know if anything is going on behind the eye."

She said the calf, a four-month-old Belgian Blue-cross-Friesian which is still destined for the food chain, should lead a "normal" life .

"It does not act any differently from any other calf," she added.

"As a veterinary practice, we will certainly be treating it with the same care we give every animal."

A spokesperson for the National Farmers Union told Yahoo News UK: "Our chief livestock adviser had not heard of this before, so presume it's very rare and a result of genetic issue or problem when the cells were dividing in the embryo. As rule we see very few abnormalities in cattle. They assume there will be no welfare issues and the animal will grow normally."

In 2014, villagers in Tamil Nadu flocked to visit a three-eyed calf called Shiva - named after the Hindu god who is depicted with a third eye.

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