PERFECTLY SHEEPISH: Gwenda Batterham with one of her many lambs.
PERFECTLY SHEEPISH: Gwenda Batterham with one of her many lambs. Tessa Flemming

Bumper lamb births lift spirits in dry times

WITH almost 40 years of farming under her belt, Gwenda Batterham thought she had seen it all but nothing could prepare her for a recent unexpected series of births on her Junabee property.

Within four days of deliveries last week, Mrs Batterham soon had enough lambs to last an entire season and boost her lambing total by 200 per cent, with two sets of twins, a rare set of triplets and an even rarer set of quadruplets.

In sheep farming, quadruplets are considered incredibly unusual and even given her years of experience in the industry, Mrs Batterham had never seen a set with her own eyes, let alone amongst her own stock.

"Quite often, you'll get singles or sometimes twins but in Queensland, where it's drier it's certainly rare," she said.

"My family were amazed and we've been in sheep all our lives."


sheeps galore
FLEECE AS WHITE AS SNOW: Gwenda Batterham has 11 lambs as a result of a bumper birth season on her property. Tessa Flemming

As the sheep gave birth while Mrs Batterham was sleeping, upon waking up it was easy to assume she was seeing double at first.

"First I thought there had been some other ewe giving birth in the same area but when I realised they were all from the same sheep I thought crikey! " she said.

"Especially when I knew I'd have to be feeding some too."

At the moment, Mrs Batterham is feeding the lambs twice a day due to the size of the set and one ewe's slow recovery after birthing.

While battling against the big dry and now with more mouths to feed, Mrs Batterham couldn't help but feel blessed by the births.

"It just lifts the spirits up a bit," she said.