Quintuplet Lambs Alisha Utting

One-in-a-million quintuplet lambs born at Hartpury

Quintuplet Lambs Alisha Utting

Hartpury is celebrating the birth of its one-in-a-million quintuplet lambs!

One of Hartpury’s 650 ewes gave birth to the healthy new arrivals at the institution’s award-winning commercial farm, Home Farm.

Farm Manager Andrew Eastabrook, who has worked in farming for 14 years, said university and college agriculture staff and students supporting him during lambing season could hardly believe their eyes.

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

“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.

“When the mother was scanned to check she was healthy and that the pregnancy was all going well, four lambs showed up on the scan.

“That’s rare in itself, because ewes tend to have only triplets at most.

“When the actual time to give birth came and the mother had triplets, we thought the scans must have been wrong.

“We moved the ewe into a separate pen to give her a rest but when we came back 35 minutes later to check on her welfare, there were another two lambs – we were literally counting sheep!

“All five lambs weighed about 3½kg each and I’m delighted to say that they’re all doing well, as is their mum.

“Three of the lambs are still with their mother and two are with foster mums because she wouldn’t have had enough milk to feed all of them on her own.

“We’re keeping a close eye on them, as we do with all our animals, but they’ve settled in well and are obviously completely unaware of the excitement that their arrival has created.”

As well as gaining vital experience and skills during the lambing season, agriculture students have opportunities throughout the year to get hands-on at the farm, which includes a new state-of-the-art dairy parlour and herd of pedigree Guernsey cattle.

Agriculture degrees, diplomas and apprenticeships at Hartpury provide routes into a range of career opportunities within the UK and international agriculture industry, including farm management, agronomy, policymaking, research, science and consultancy.

Picture: The quintuplet lambs with Hartpury student Alisha Utting