Easter joy as rare quad lambs are born on small farm owned by A&E nurse
- Credit: Tim Denton-Cardew
Rare quad lambs have been born on a small farm near Stowmarket - with the adorable foursome arriving just in time for Easter.
As well as farming at a smallholding in Kenton, owner Tim Denton-Cardew is an A&E nurse at Ipswich Hospital.
The odds of quadruplet lambs being born is believed to be around 500-1, and Emma the ewe, a Lleyn/Suffolk cross, hit the jackpot with her very first litter of four ewe lambs.
“The lambs are all doing well - all four are girls, which is even more incredible,” Mr Denton-Cardew said. “It’s fantastic. I think it’s very nice for the villagers.
“This is Emma’s first year as a mum, so amazing. She is doing such a great job so far.”
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He said his two sons, Albion, 11, and Elliott, eight, were both thrilled with the new arrivals.
He added: “We only have nine ewes, and seven of them are brand new. It’s just a little small-holding - it would be nice to get it a bit bigger. We will probably have about 20-plus lambs this year.”
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At first, Mr Denton-Cardew thought Emma had given birth to triplets - but then a fourth lamb also arrived.
READ MORE - Lambing season springs into action in spite of coronavirus lockdown“I had never heard of it happening before - I had to look up what four lambs are called!,” he said.
“Some villagers have told me they have also never heard of it.”
Two of his other ewes have also had triplets this spring, while another four are still due to lamb.
The farmer said that at present Emma is caring for all four lambs, which were born a couple of days ago, and and feeding them on colostrum. It is likely two of the lambs will soon need to be bottle-fed, but it is nice for the mum and lambs to spend time together first.
“My sister is a livestock vet, and she advised me to put one of the lambs with a ewe who had a single lamb, but it is very rare to get singles with this breed, so I think we will have to bottle-feed.
“The children helped to bottle-feed a couple of lambs last year, and the lambs used to wait outside the window and try to get in the house!”
Mr Denton-Cardew takes two weeks off from his job at Ipswich Hospital every year to oversee the lambing, and posts “lambing live” videos on Facebook for his friends and colleagues to see. Obviously, it is a very busy time at the hospital because of coronavirus, but he said staff still needed to take their annual leave.