Quadruplets good for lambing

Zach RelphCountryman
Quadruplets at the Gelmi farm.
Camera IconQuadruplets at the Gelmi farm. Credit: Alan Gelmi

Wheatbelt farmers Alan and Heather Gelmi have always believed that positive lambing is the sign of a pleasing season ahead.

And with parched conditions across their two Quairading-Danjin properties, the producers hope good fortune is on the horizon after a maiden Merino ewe delivered quadruplets last month.

“We were really amazed to see four of them, especially because she is a maiden ewe — I haven’t had a sheep with quadruplets before,” he said.

“She wouldn’t walk any more than 5m without stopping, turning around and counting them to make sure they were all there.

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“My old man always said: ‘If you lamb early and have a good lambing, it is going to be a good season’.

“I’ve been madly feeding sheep the past month or so because it has been so dry, but it’ll be interesting to see how the season finishes off now.”

Mr and Mrs Gelmi, alongside their son, Nigel, mate about 2500 ewes across their two farms, using both Willemenup and Kamballie bloodlines.

Mr Gelmi primarily looks after the maiden ewes, while Nigel oversees the grain growing and the rest of the Merino flock.

The ewes started lambing on May 1.

Mr Gelmi said the quadruplets and their mother were in the paddock and doing well. “They’re all looking pretty fit,” he said.

“There is four of them with one mother and she looks to be keeping up with them — she is a good mother.

“We will keep an eye on the mother to see what her future consists of and if she keeps producing multiple lambs.”

Twins, and sometimes triplets, are common in some sheep breeds.

However, quadruplets are considered a rare occurrence.

In 2017, Countryman reported on Sue Richards, of Gingin, and her Dorper-cross Tilly delivering quadruplets.

Countryman also spoke with Albany resident Adele Kingdon last year after her pet crossbred Dorper ewe, Milly, gave birth to four lambs.

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