Meath farmer Jim Cully has welcomed three sets of quadruplet lambs on to his farm this spring.
Jim who farms alongside his two sons, welcomed the first set of quadruplets on to the farm about six weeks ago, with the other two sets having arrived in the past two weeks.
The last time a set of quads were born on the Meath farm was when Jim's father was alive, back in 1974.
"I remember buying 20 ewes in Maynooth and between them they had 42 lambs, including one set of quads," Jim told the Irish Farmers Journal of that year.
"In the past five weeks we have had three sets of quads born here on the farm. The first set of quads which were born five weeks ago are now eating meal.The mother is rearing three of the lambs and we fostered off one lamb to a hogget ewe who lost her lamb."
For the two most recent sets of quads Jim is bottle feeding one lamb while the ewe is rearing the other three.
Meath farmer Jim Cully with one of his three sets of 2020-born quadruplet lambs.
"We keep about 200 sheep between ewe lambs and hoggets. So far this year we have had 25 sets of triplets and three sets of quadruplets."
Jim runs four Texel rams with his flock.
"The ewes are mainly Texel cross with the odd Suffolk. Some of the ewes would have been ewe lambs that we would have kept over the years and brought back into the flock.
"We lost an odd lamb out of the sets of triplets but the quadruplet lambs have all survived”.
The end is near
Lambing started in mid-February and Jim expects things to finish up in around two weeks time.
"We hope to be finished within the next two weeks, you will always have a few ewes that will drag on with lambing.
"I have moved the ewes left to lamb to lamb into a paddock beside the house. I find that they are twice as healthy when they lamb outside once the weather is good.”
Jim credits the ewes' good conditions for the surplus of lambs this year.
“I said it to the vet when we started to lamb that the lambs were coming a bit bigger this year and he said the ewes were in great order going to the ram. They were also on a good run throughout their pregnancy.”
Jim is delighted that his grandchildren have a great interest in farming.
"The grandchildren are delighted with the arrival of the lambs, the love coming up and looking at the sheep and doing a bit of routing around.
"Youngsters can do a lot of work with sheep, they are not as dangerous as cows to work with.”