Amy Hill together with her family is from the Snowy River Farms located in Nova, Scotia, Canada. Just recently, her 10-year-old beloved pregnant sheep, Dotty, got sick.
Amy and the medical team believe that Dotty’s two lambs were stillborn inside her belly. This is why Dotty was very sick at that time. They already expected that Dotty is going to die with her stillborn lambs inside her. Or maybe they had to put her down to end her suffering.
The morning after, Amy walked into the barn and was shocked by what she saw.
A small wet lamb was running across the hay!
This was not a lamb from her farm. This was definitely a lamb that she has never seen before. Amy thought that this did not make any sense. She said, “I walk into the barn and saw one wet lamb walk across the front and I thought that doesn’t make any sense and then I ran over to the side and I saw three babies all wet,”
So she ran over the side of the barn to check and there it was – three more lambs and they were all soaking wet!
These babies were surrounding their mom, Dotty. This means that Dotty just gave birth to three boys and a girl. According to Amy, all of Dotty’s previous pregnancies were twins. But she never had a quadruplet. Amy had to help Dotty with feeding the lambs because the sheep only had two teats. Amy shared that she was so proud of Dotty. She always takes care of her babies. However, she will not breed again. Having four on her last pregnancy was enough.
According to Sheep101, sheep usually give birth to one to three lambs, but twin births or having two babies is the most common. For first-time moms, they are more likely to have single births but still, twins are not uncommon with some sheep breeds. When ewes reach 3 up to 6 years, this is when they produce their largest litters of lamb.
Some breeds will have an average of more than two lambs per litter. The lambs the mother sheep has, the more help she needs. Sometimes, the extra lambs needed to be cross-fostered with other ewes.
Dotty is not the only one who had multiple births. In fact, just last year, sheep owner Jeff Davis from Awakino was shocked to find that her six-year-old ewe with five lambs toddling after her. He initially thought that she might have stolen some of the lambs. But when he checked on her, he confirmed that all five lambs came from his Ewe 605. He said that he had been raising sheep for five years and he only had one set of quadruplets.
Having the five lambs (Molly, Polly, Holly, Ollie, and Keith) arriving at the same time was a one in a million occurrence for him. He was thankful that the ewe was in good condition, as well as her quintuplets. In fact, they were very lively and are about the same size as normal lamb twins would have weighed.
Nature truly has a way to impress us. These rare occurrences are proof that even with animals, anything can happen, especially when it comes to multiple births,