‘One-in-a-million’ albino calf born to Anderson County rancher

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 2:45 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2023 at 6:37 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas rancher has a ‘one in a million’ experience with the birth of a calf he didn’t even know was coming.

The odds of having one of ‘these’ born is ‘literally’ a-million-to-one.

‘One-in-a-million’ albino calf born to Anderson County rancher

Fifth generation Anderson county rancher Brad Henry had recently bought a cow to add to his stock, but on Sunday that cow delivered a rare birth.

“When I got her home, I had her for about a week and she calved. So I called the seller about how light- colored she was,” he says.

An albino calf.

“I saw the eyes and I said, ‘I think we have an albino don’t you?’ He said yes, but we weren’t really sure,” said wife Michal Henry.

Albinism is a rare genetic condition caused by mutations of recessive genes that affect the amount of melanin the body produces. Melanin controls pigmentation, or color of skin, eyes and hair.

“I have never seen one in this area. I even reached out to Texas A&M to see if they might have a need to further education with this calf,” Brad says.

The albino traits are snow white skin or fur, and pink eyes. Though the calf is healthy, albinism has its challenges, such as poor eyesight and sunburn.

“Hot as it gets in East Texas, the sun ...they sunburn real bad. Sunblock. Just like you and I would put on. Yes,” says Brad.

In Native American lore, a white calf, usually buffalo, is an omen of hope and prosperity.

Henry hopes that’s true for him.

“I’ll take it. I need some prosperity this year,” he says.

The Henrys say when the calf gets old enough, they hope to rehome it to a quiet pasture somewhere.