Weld calf born on Valentine’s Day with ‘heart’ on its forehead
Talking above the fluttering noise made by her blue jacket waving in Thursday morning’s breeze, Judy May pointed her attention to the east edge of her property line, where a grain elevator once stood, and then to the north edge of her land, to detail the location of a former school house.
Her family’s ranch – going on 100 years old, she said – makes up much of what was once Purcell, a northern Weld County dot on the map – on some maps, anyway – that became a ghost town after the Dust Bowl of the 1930s wiped out many of the area’s farms and sent those people elsewhere to look for work.
But while May and her family’s ranch have been witness to an abundance of events in rural Weld County history, it was this year’s calving season that brought May one of her biggest surprises yet, if not the biggest, she said; a black, cross-bred calf, born on Valentine’s Day with a large, white patch of fur shaped in an almost-perfectly symmetrical heart, dead-center on its forehead.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” said a chuckling May, whose house sits across the road from a building that was once the town’s gas station, which her parents operated and even lived in at one time. “I’ve seen a lot of things out here over the years, but I’ve never seen anything like that.”
The near-perfect heart on its forehead is one thing, she said, but the fact that it was born on Feb. 14 makes it all the more interesting – and humorous.
The calf, a mix of Angus, Gelbvieh and Simmental, was born just outside of May’s barn – a structure that was once the office building for the town of Purcell’s former lumber yard – and has since become the ranch’s most photographed animal ever, she believes.
One person who has photographed the calf is Marcy Robbins – a veterinary technician and long-time friend of May’s, who used to work at the ranch and still goes out there to sometimes help with operations.
She said veterinarians and experts in cattle-breeding with whom she’s spoken to have never come across anything quite like it.
“Never seen anything like it, never heard of anything like it,” said Robbins, who raises cattle herself. “None of us could believe it.”
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I have been rather preoccupied lately and haven’t been writing my editor’s note. So, for those who have called and emailed to make sure I’m still on this Earth, I’m still here.