Posted: Jan 30, 2012 8:22 AM ET


Bruce Straby is looking to sell his herd of cottontail cows by the spring. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

A unique herd of cattle south of Ottawa could be headed to the slaughterhouse because their owner is set to retire.

Greely, Ont., farmer Bruce Straby has bred “cottontail” cows, who have white, fluffy, wider-than-average tails, for the past 20 years.

Straby is a retired chemist and part-time beef farmer. He said it is time to move on from his hobby, but he wants someone else to carry on the legacy with the unique animals.

“Sooner or later, I’m going to find the family that I need,” he told the CBC’s Hallie Cotnam, “the family that I want.”

Straby has already sold his land and he now has until the spring to find someone to buy the cows.

“It’s fun, nobody else can do it. Just because, like Everest, just because it’s there, just because nobody else had them,” Straby said.

The selective breeding of cottontail cows began with a mutation in one of the calves.

Now Straby wants to find a farming family who would buy the cows and establish them as an official breed.

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