HERE’S LOOKING AT EWE, KIDS

Dave Allen, veterinary surgeon at Shires Vets, pictured with lamb twins in Eccleshall

A Staffordshire veterinary practice has been kept busy this spring with a bumper yield of lambs across the county.

The dedicated farm animal team at Shires Vets, which is based in Eccleshall, has attributed this spring’s increased arrivals to an unusually high number of multiple births compared to last year – in particular, triplets and twins.

“Farmers expect ewes to give birth to twice as many twins than single lambs”,

said Dave Allen, veterinary surgeon at Shires Vets.

“However, this year we’ve also seen a noticeable increase in triplet births, resulting in considerably more lambs born.”

Mr Allen said that while this increase in lambs per ewe is good news for farmers, it does mean that additional care and resources are needed at birthing. A multiple birth can lead to complications, particularly if one or more of the lambs is born breech.

“It is difficult for a ewe to suckle three lambs, so often one offspring will have to be hand-reared as a Cade lamb and, therefore, bottle-fed,” he said.

But, even if multiple births are more labour-intensive for all concerned, if all works out well then the overall increase in lambs born this year can only be a positive for Staffordshire’s farmers, added Mr Allen.

For more information on Shires Vets, visit www.shiresvets.com/farm/contact-us.htm.