December 9 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Bicton College has welcomed the birth of a new calf – a member of one of the rarest breeds of cattle in the country.
Newborn Strawberry Sundae is a female Original Population Dairy Shorthorn calf, a breed which only has 90 breeding females left in the UK.
Her mother, Strawberry 128th, moved to Bicton recently as part of a herd of eight, including two yearling heifers and three heifer calves bought by the Rare Breed Survival Trust, following the announcement of a partnership between the Trust and the college.
In the 1930’s two-thirds of all cattle in the UK were Dairy Shorthorns, used both for beef and dairy produce, however the breed has gone out of fashion to such an extent that it is now classed as ‘in critical danger of extinction’.
Farm manager Paul Redmore said: “The birth was quick, completely natural and very smooth. It was incredible to be a part of such a huge milestone for our rare breed herd here.”
The college says its new arrival showcases the great work the partnership is producing, including a £3m state of the art Animal Husbandry School which is currently in its second phase of building.
This new school will house a huge range of animals from fish to reptiles to small primates, including a selection of rare-breeds.