Lamb-tastic farm discovery

Lamb-tastic farm discovery

Alocal farmer has had the shock of his life recently after discovering one of his ewes had given birth to an extremely rare litter of sextuplet lambs.

Brad Shephard has owned a hobby farm in Koorine, located just outside of Glencoe, for two years and has kept crossbred Merino sheep for most of that time.

This is Mr Shephard’s first (and likely only) lot of lambs, with his other two ewes each giving birth to twins on the same night, three days later.

Mr Shephard said he procured a ram five months ago to teach his two young children more about life on a farm.

“I got a ram about five months ago just trying to show the kids a bit of a farm life,” he said.

“I grew up on a little bit of property in Naracoorte, had some sheep of my own and enjoyed all that sort of lifestyle and thought it would be good for the kids to see how things happen.

“She was not overly big so we had no idea at all. I would have just assumed that she would have had twins or something, but certainly not six.

“I put my boots on and walked out … and as I walked around the corner she had moved and had exposed the rest of them that were all sitting there.”

Mr Shephard said he did not comprehend originally the rarity of the large multiple birth.

“I had sheep when I was growing up and been around sheep a lot of my life when I was younger, but never ever heard of anything like it,” he said.

“I had heard of four before but that was the most I had ever heard of. I heard of one other person that said they had heard of five, but I have not actually heard of six before.

“It is definitely reasonably rare, but I did not realise how rare it was until I started talking to people and getting calls from news and things like that.”

One of the lambs was unfortunately stillborn, two are with their mother and three lambs were taken to nearby Lamb Orphan Rescue Farm.

Mr Shephard said the remaining two lambs were a male and a female that needed to be hand reared.

“We are still trying to get the (two) lambs back with their mum. One of them has taken back to the mum and we do not see that one anymore, but we are still doing filling feeds at the moment to keep the other one happy,” he said.

“The little boy is putting on some weight and he is running around with the other lambs.

“The little girl is putting on weight but she is very docile, she does not seem to want to play much or anything but seems to be reasonably healthy, she seems to be happy just not quite as playful.”

Mr Shephard praised Lamb Orphan Rescue Farm for their support.

“They do an amazing job at what they do,” he said.

“It has been really helpful with my work, I work full time and weekends and then my partner has both the kids full time, so we just really did not have time to be bottle feeding that many lambs.

“They take a fair bit of time and need feeding every four hours and it was just going to be too much, so very grateful that Rebecca could take them on and help us out.”

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