Swallow (right) is smaller than the average sheep

A cow whose tiny stature saved her from the abattoir has entered the record books as the world's smallest.

Swallow, a Dexter cow from Cheshire, stands 33.5in (0.8m) tall from hind to foot - shorter than most sheep.

The 11-year-old, who is currently pregnant, has produced nine calves and is described by owner Caroline Ryder as the "nanny of the herd".

Swallow secured a slot with the tallest dog, longest snake and oldest gorilla in the 2011 Guinness World Records.

The tiny cow was born in Newbury, Berkshire in 1999 and bought by the Ryder family at a rare breed auction in 2006.

'Genetic anomaly'

Brought up in Rishworth, West Yorkshire, her small size means she is used for breeding, explained Mrs Ryder, who recently moved to Crossley Hall Farm, near Congleton.

"She was quite small when she was born and she has grown proportionately," she told the BBC.

"She is really sweet - an asset to the herd. For a small cow with short legs she can't half move fast."

The family approached Guinness after noticing a posting on a Dexter cattle forum from someone looking for the smallest cow.

After putting her name forward last year, Guinness confirmed the record a few months ago.

The other new entries in Guinness World Records 2011:
  • Widest tongue: Jay Stoot from Australia measuring 7.9cm
  • Longest beard: Sarwan Singh measuring 7ft 9in
  • Greatest weight lifted by nipples: Sage Werbock, aka, The Great Nippulini, who lifted 31.9kg
  • Furthest distance a double-decker bud has been pulled with hair: Manjit Singh - 21 metres
  • Most gurning wins: Tommy Mattinson - 11 wins
  • Longest dog tongue: Puggy measuring 11.43cm
  • Longest snake: Fluffy the Anaconda measuring 24ft
  • Oldest Gorilla: Colo aged 51
  • Fastest time a dog can pop 100 balloons: Anastacia in 44.49 secs

watch the video of the Guinness World Records


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