Extremely rare miniature panda cow born in Roy

ROY, Wash. -- A newborn in Roy is drawing all sorts of oohs and aahs, even though few know exactly what they're looking at.

John Bartheld has been on a quest to breed the perfect cow, and his seven years of work paid off when Peanut was born three weeks ago.

"I looked out the window and he was still wet, and from 100 feet away I went, ''Oh my gosh, it happened,'" Bartheld said.

Peanut is no common calf. He's a miniature panda cow, and he's extremely rare.

"They say there's, like, 30 in the world," Bartheld said.

It's not the black around the eye that makes Peanut the perfect panda cow -- it's the white around the belly.

His half sister, named Star, was born a few days later but didn't luck out with the unblemished blend of markings.

"She doesn't have the complete package," Bartheld said.

She might be named Star because of the mark on her forehead, but Peanut is the unquestioned star of the herd.

"(Star's) face isn't perfect," Bartheld said. "Peanut, he's kind of like the Brad Pitt of cattle -- he's perfect."

Peanut came out weighing 28 pounds, whereas a standard steer calf would weigh three times that amount.

The little guy looks nothing like his mom, a miniature hereford that Bartheld artificially inseminated with a miniature beltie bull from Covington.

Bartheld plans on selling his rare calf, and not for peanuts. He hopes his hobby will fetch at least $3,000.

And then he'll go back to the barnyard to see if he can hit another bulls-eye.

"They come out different every time," he said. "We'll see what next year brings."

Bartheld has had one offer so far for Peanut from a woman who wants him for a pet. You can see a pair of miniature panda cows in the family zoo section of the Woodland Park Zoo.