Quintuplet birth produces surge in flock size

This is the second time the farm has seen such bounty in its sheep, which are considered a hobby for the dairy operation

Dairy and beef farmer Heinrich Stamm has only 22 sheep, which he refers to as “a hobby.”

So when one of his ewes gave birth to five lambs Feb. 17, it added a considerable boost to the size of his flock.

Stamm, who operates Stamm Dairy Ltd. near Ponoka, Alta., had to assist the ewe with the first lamb in particular, but the next four were delivered without too much intervention, he said.

“I pulled the first one. I checked again, and oh, there’s another one. Then I found out there were more behind.”

The last lamb arrived backward but all are healthy, said Stamm. As of last week, the ewe was feeding them all.

“She’s a good mama,” he said.

This was the fifth lambing for this particular ewe. Older ewes tend to ovulate more eggs and thus are more likely to have multiple lambs. Ovulation rates are highest in ewes between three and six years of age, according to the Canadian Sheep Federation, so this ewe fits the usual trend in that regard.

Stamm said he has seen quintuplets born once before in his flock, but that happened 10 or 12 years ago. Quadruplets have also occurred three or four times on the farm.

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