By Becca Husselbee
A little boy has formed a special bond with an unusual friend after his parents began breeding show cattle as a hobby.
Little farmer Oliver Chivers, three, has no problem getting his hands dirty and looking after 17 cows with his parents, Bonnie, 32 and Daniel, 33, in Sandhurst, Berkshire, and even get close the families bull.
However, Oliver is inseparable from his favourite calf, two-year-old Iiffany, going along with his parents every day to make sure she is fed, taking her for a walk and even heading off to county shows together.
Mum, Bonnie, who works as a carer, said: “When we go to see the cows he smiles from ear to ear and just wants to give them a cuddle, which is amazing really considering he sees them every day come rain or shine.
“Frith Iffanny is his main cow, but he also loves Grove Farm Holly, our first homebred calf, and of course Ballyloughan Edinburgh, our bull, Oliver calls him ‘Eddie boy’.
Dad, Daniel, who works as a groundskeeper, said: “We had always wanted to have our own cow and in March, last year, we bought our first one.
“Me and Bonnie both have full-time jobs so showing and breeding became our hobby and we have spent most of our summer at county shows.
“Oliver has no fear at all and his is straight in there helping out.
“Iffany is his favourite, they have grown up together and she knows she has to be gentle when he is around, they are best friends.”
Oliver is also following in his parent’s footsteps by taking part in the young handler classes at county shows, such as Royal Berkshire and the Royal Three Counties Show.
Bonnie said: “Oliver is always the youngest competitor at the shows and gets a lot of attention from the crowds.
“He loves walking around the grand parades waving to the spectators.
“Oliver’s tradition is that if he wins any prize money at a show, he goes straight away after putting his cow back in her stall and gets an ice cream.”
The family hopes to make Grove Farm Dexters a top name in the world of cattle with 23 shows across the country lined up for next summer.
Bonnie said: “Oliver will compete in the young handlers classes and where there is not a class for him he will accompany us during the grand parade of livestock at the end of the shows.
” We are awaiting our first calf from our champion bull due in April time and all the other suitably aged cows will go in with Eddie boy in 2 weeks, including Iffanny, they will be due in October.
“We are very excited to see Iffanny’s calf and it will keep Oliver busy halter training all the babies.”