Two ewes in Meath have given birth to sextuplets (six) in the past two weeks on farms in Kildalkey and Longwood.

Bernard Fox told the Irish Farmers Journal that his Belclare-cross ewe had been scanned with four lambs.

“The ewe lambed on Wednesday 24 February and it was some surprise to see six lambs at foot. The most I’d ever seen before was five.

“My neighbours, Shane and Pauric Monaghan, are doing their Leaving Cert and have been helping me lamb while studying at home.

“The two boys lambed this super ewe for me and without them they all wouldn’t have survived.

“A big batch of lambs like that need intensive care and the lads did a great job. They are identical twins themselves which adds to the story.”

Timmy Teahan from Longwood, Co Meath. \ Barry Cronin

Prolific ram

Timmy Teahan who farms in Longwood, Co Meath told the Irish Farmers Journal that he doesn’t scan his ewes and subsequently wasn’t expecting one of his Kerry Hill ewes to have six lambs.

“At 9am the ewe delivered her first two and my brother put her in a pen of her own. I was in the middle of school at the time and slipped up to the shed at 11am between French and maths.

“To my surprise she had five lambs around her at this stage. I went back up to the shed at 1pm and she had six lambs at foot.

“It was hard to believe. Quadruplets was the most that we ever had on the farm before.”

Timmy Teahan from Longwood, Co Meath. \ Barry Cronin

One lamb has since died while the remaining five are reported to be doing well.

“The lambs are two weeks old now and three have been fostered onto other ewes while two remain with their mother.

“The ram we use is a Blue Texel. I reckon it’s his prolificacy that led to such a huge batch of lambs this year. We’ve also had six sets of triplets.”

Timmy Teahan's newborn lambs. \ Barry Cronin