The digital-first, student-run magazine of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Journalism Department

Amherst Wire

Ewe won’t believe this: UMass sheep gives birth to five lambs

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Amanda+Reilly+%28left%29+and+Cris+Wein+%28right%29+hold+two+of+the+five+baby+lambs+birthed+on+Friday%2C+April+7%2C+at+the+UMass+Hadley+Farm.+%28Faith+Gregory%2FAmherst+Wire%29
Amanda Reilly (left) and Cris Wein (right) hold two of the five baby lambs birthed on Friday, April 7, at the UMass Hadley Farm. (Faith Gregory/Amherst Wire)

Amanda Reilly (left) and Cris Wein (right) hold two of the five baby lambs birthed on Friday, April 7, at the UMass Hadley Farm. (Faith Gregory/Amherst Wire)

Amanda Reilly (left) and Cris Wein (right) hold two of the five baby lambs birthed on Friday, April 7, at the UMass Hadley Farm. (Faith Gregory/Amherst Wire)

Ewes typically only birth two or three lambs at a time

HADLEY — An average day on the University of Massachusetts Amherst Hadley Farm became a springtime miracle when Luna the ewe birthed five lambs on April 7.

UMass juniors and animal science majors Cris Wein and Amanda Reilly were working in the livestock barn when longtime livestock barn manager Alice Newth called for help.

“I heard the baby peep noise from the first lamb, and the mother talking to it, and I just yelled for [Amanda and Cris] to go check it out,” said Newth.

A pregnant ewe, Luna, was lambing, so Wein and Reilly got to work, making sure the lambs could breathe and encouraging them to stand up and nurse.

After the first four lambs were born, almost everyone had left. Reilly was getting ready to leave and Wein was trying to get Luna to stand up.

“I wanted her to stand up so that the babies could get underneath and nurse, and as I went, I reached over to kind of like, help her stand up, I just saw like one leg, and I was just like oh God this can’t be it,” said Wein.

Wein immediately called for Reilly to come back and help. The fifth lamb was born.

After about 45 minutes of labor, a total of five new lambs were born in the UMass Hadley livestock barn. This is an unusual number because ewes typically only birth two or three lambs.

Luna birthed two girls, Lyra and Aqua, and three boys, Orion, Ares and Percy. The lambs are named after constellations.

When one of the babies was having trouble nursing, Reilly and Wein spent their whole day caring for her to ensure she’d live.

“One of them was really slow, she didn’t want to stand up. It took her five hours to actually stand up on her own,” said Reilly. “We were bottle feeding her, we tube fed her. We wanted all of them to stay alive, so we spent the whole day making sure it happened.”

Luna and all five of her lambs are doing very well, according to Wein and Reilly.

Reilly describes the lambs as “really stinking cute.”

The sheep at UMass Hadley Farm are Dorset sheep, which are special because they can be bred twice a year. Ewe pregnancies last about five months. Luna gave birth right on schedule.

As of April 20, nearly two weeks after the birth, the lambs are all healthy and growing fabulously Wein said.

The farm currently has 26 ewes, two rams, seven yearlings and 41 lambs.

Email Faith at [email protected] or follow them on Twitter @FVGrego.

Facebook Comments

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Ewe won’t believe this: UMass sheep gives birth to five lambs

    Campus

    Apartment fire on Kellogg Avenue

  • Ewe won’t believe this: UMass sheep gives birth to five lambs

    Campus

    DA releases more information on Fearing Street death

  • Ewe won’t believe this: UMass sheep gives birth to five lambs

    Campus

    The party’s over: University takes disciplinary action against two popular fraternities

  • Ewe won’t believe this: UMass sheep gives birth to five lambs

    Campus

    Maps and machine guns: UMass ROTC is back in action

  • Ewe won’t believe this: UMass sheep gives birth to five lambs

    Campus

    Local leaders hold DACA teach-in

  • Ewe won’t believe this: UMass sheep gives birth to five lambs

    Campus

    UMass police cruiser catches fire on campus

  • Ewe won’t believe this: UMass sheep gives birth to five lambs

    Around the Valley

    PVTA buses get new security cameras despite budget cuts

  • Ewe won’t believe this: UMass sheep gives birth to five lambs

    Campus

    Small fire in Kennedy dorm prompts police and fire response

  • Ewe won’t believe this: UMass sheep gives birth to five lambs

    Campus

    District Attorney: Man found dead on Fearing Street on Friday night

  • Ewe won’t believe this: UMass sheep gives birth to five lambs

    Campus

    Student-run People’s Market now accepts dining dollars

The digital-first, student-run magazine of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Journalism Department
Ewe won’t believe this: UMass sheep gives birth to five lambs