Rare quintuplet lambs are born at Hartpury University farm

Hartpury University is celebrating the birth of its first quintuplet lambs – with the odds of five babies being born to one ewe at a million to one!

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
The one-in-a-million litter of lambs were born on Hartpury Universitys Home Farm.
The one-in-a-million litter of lambs were born on Hartpury University’s Home Farm.

It’s lambing season in Gloucestershire and Hartpury University is defying the odds, as a one-in-a-million set of quintuplet lambs has been born at the institution’s commercial farm, Home Farm.

The farm manager, Andrew Eastabrook, was supported by agriculture students and staff at Hartpury University and Hartpury College to deliver the litter of five, as well as helping out with lambing duties across Home Farm.

Andrew said: ‘In all my years working in agriculture, I’ve never come across a set of quintuplet lambs – it’s very special indeed.

‘Apparently the chances of a ewe giving birth to quintuplets are a million to one, according to That’s Farming, and it’s even rarer for them to be born alive and well.’

With three babies born at first, Andrew and the team suspected that the ewe’s pregnancy scans – which showed four lambs – were wrong and moved her into a separate pen for some much-needed rest.

They were thrilled to discover two extra lambs when they returned to check on her, just over half an hour later – making her the proud mum of quintuplets!

All weighing in at around three and a half kilograms at birth, the quintuplets have been separated to make sure they get the milk they need – with three still with their mother, and two with foster mums elsewhere on the farm.

In addition to helping with lambing season, agriculture students at Hartpury University and Hartpury College will have the chance to get hands-on at the farm throughout the year – including helping out at the new dairy parlour and managing its herd of pedigree Guernsey cattle.

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