Grand Ridge- "I call her Six Legs" said Oak Ridge Dairy Owner, Willard Yeomans of the three week old calf born on his farm with an extra pair of legs.
Yeomans said the first time he saw the calf was quite a surprise.
"I've been milking cows for 58 years and this is the first time I've ever seen this" he explained. Jackson County Agriculture Agent, Doug Mayo added, "I've been around cattle for 30 years and have never seen anything like this before."
Mayo told us Six Legs was not only unusual, but also unexplainable.
"I'm sure there's somebody out there that's run into this phenomenon, but so far I haven't been able to find anybody who could give us a clear, scientific understanding of what's up with this six legged calf" he said. But Yeomans has his own theory. "What I think" he said, "is it was going to be twins but did not separate."
Aside from the extra legs, Yeomans told us the calf was healthy. Mayo agreed adding, "It doesn't seem to be bothering the heifer. She's still eating, has a good appetite and hopefully will remain healthy."
Yeomans told us, "She acts just as normal as the rest of them- just looks different." But he also said she wouldn't be able to live the same kind of life his other calves did. The extra legs hang where her utters should be, so Six Legs cannot become a dairy cow. And, Mayo said she would probably not grow large enough to be a beef cow either.
All things considered, Yeomans said he was weighing his options.
"I'll see if anybody wants to take her to be a show cow because, I don't have much need for her, really" he explained.
"We're hoping that somebody who has a side show of unique animals will take interest in Six Legs" Mayo said.
Some said the odds of having an animal like Six Legs was one in a million. And that statistic was just fine by Yeomans. "Well, I pray I never have another like this again" he said laughing.
In the three short weeks Six Legs has lived on Yeomans farm, he said she'd been described in many different ways. But, no description was nearly as affectionate as his six year old granddaughter, Miranda Thompson's. "Oh my gosh" she said, "this one is so cute!"
Update: Wednesday, Mayo spoke with Dr. Owen Rae, DVM from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Rae explained the birth defect was caused by a rare condition called Pollymelia, or parasitic limbs. While the cause of the condition is unknown, some experts believe it could be due to the failed development of a second fetus. Others suggest the condition is caused by errant limb bus in the embryological development of the fetus. Rae said the calf should be able to live a reasonable, but obstructive life.