A Whanganui dry stock farmer is intrigued at how two dark coloured cattle have produced a calf that is almost pure white and was originally thought to be albino.

Helena Ferguson farms at Marybank, where the calf was born 10 weeks ago.

He has pink hoofs, pink rims to his dark eyes, and just a few black spots on his ears, nose and chest.

"I think it's quite special. He is going to live the good life as long as I'm around. There will be no going on a truck for him," she said.

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Ferguson thought he might be an albino.

But Massey University Professor Hugh Blair says that is unlikely, because he has those small black spots and dark eyes.

Albino animals have a malfunctioning tyrosinase enzyme, which means they can produce no pigment at all.

The calf has black spots on its chest, nose and ears. Whanganui Chronicle photograph by Bevan Conley.
The calf has black spots on its chest, nose and ears. Whanganui Chronicle photograph by Bevan Conley.

Their eyes would appear pink because you would actually be seeing the animal's blood, he said.

"It's sounding unlikely to be an albino. But they do occur and there's no reason why that combination of parent couldn't produce an albino offspring."
He has heard of Friesian cattle producing calves with very little black on them.