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Thu., Oct. 8
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Calf born in Castorland with five legs


CASTORLAND — Some people associate Friday the 13th with bad luck. But Bizarre the calf, born about 2 p.m. that day, was so lucky she was born with an extra leg.

“I thought it was the afterbirth at first. I started pulling and it just shocked me. I said, ‘What is it?’” said Keith L. Nuffer, who owns and operates Forest City Farms, 6405 Old State Road, with sister Jane M. Nuffer.

The female calf, formerly known as “Legs,” was born with the unusual limb attached at the top of her neck. It dangles uselessly and is complete with one hoof, rather than two. Ms. Nuffer likened it to a scarf.

“I thought maybe it was a twin fusing and the other twin didn’t make it ... but the Croghan vet said no. He said it could have just happened,” Mr. Nuffer said.

Mr. Nuffer said veterinarian Samuel Yancey told them he’d seen a fifth leg on a calf only three times in his career.

Bizarre was born about 10 days early to 4-year-old Buttercup, who has borne a calf only once before. That calf, later sold, had the usual four legs.

“There’s something special about her. She was born around Christmastime,” Ms. Nuffer said.

The brother and sister admitted they had never seen anything like it on their 110-heifer farm, although Ms. Nuffer saw it once at the Lewis County Fair.

“They had a tent set up that had not-normal things in it. One was a five-legged calf and it looked like her, except bigger. That must have been about 15 years ago,” she said.

While the playful Bizarre is learning to drink from a pan rather than a bottle and remains oblivious to how special she is, the Nuffers are debating whether to keep the appendage or not.

“You’re probably never going to see it again, and it’s not bothering her,” Ms. Nuffer said.

Mr. Nuffer was on the fence.

“She was born that way, but it’s not going to do us any good, and it kind of ruins the look of her,” he said. “She’s healthy. It doesn’t bother her a bit ... She probably won’t like that when she gets bigger, dangling. But everyone keeps saying keep it.”

“We’re going to see what the Lowville vet says. I talked to (Dr. Deanna L. Fuller) on the phone and she says she’s going to come and take a look at it. She says she has seen it,” Ms. Nuffer said.

“There’s nothing wrong with that calf,” she said. “She’s lively, she’s cute, so I don’t know.”

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