An Angus calf born with an extra limb in Lamar County has left cattle ranchers Jim and Renee Newsom speechless.
The couple, who have been raising cattle in Lamar County for more than two decades, couldn’t believe their eyes when a calf born last October had a fifth leg attached to its back.
“I thought I was seeing things when I saw her from a distance out in the field,” said Renee. “But upon closer inspection, she really did have a fifth leg hanging off her spine and that’s when I went and got Jim. Both of us have never seen anything like it.”
The extra limb, which also has what looks to be what could have grown into two hooves, doesn’t affect the calf at all.
“She is just like all the other calves. It doesn’t affect her at all,” said Renee. “The vet said that she could have started out as a twin and something happened which could very well be the case as the mother had twins the year before.”
While it may be a first for the Newsom’s, its not the first time a calf has been born with an extra limb.
There are multiple reports of cattle with extra limbs including several with a fifth leg growing from the cow’s head. However, it is still extremely rare.
The condition is called polymelia which is a birth defect when an animal has extra limbs. According to the National Geographic reported in 2017, it is extremely rare, especially in cattle — occurring in just one out of every 100,000 cattle born worldwide.
Renee said that several universities showed interest in the calf for educational purposes but right now she is still just grazing their pastures.