New lambs are quadruple surprise for All-Ireland shearing champion farmer

New lambs are quadruple surprise for All-Ireland shearing champion farmer
The new arrivals were a handful. Picture: Seamus Farrelly.

A twice All-Ireland shearing champion had a woolly surprise when he welcomed three quadruple sets of lambs on this farm within two weeks.

It's the first time in 46 years that Jimmy Cully had quad lambs on his holding in Longwood, Co. Meath and he admits that three sets in two weeks is quite a rare sight.

The farmer, 69, has also welcomed 24 sets of triplets and countless twins and singlets in the last few months and is still on call to help 50 other sheep deliver their frolicking flock.

"I wasn't too surprised when the first set came a few weeks ago as it's common enough nowadays and then the second set appeared," he said.

But I was taken aback on Wednesday when the third set came along.

"I hadn't scanned the sheep this year so didn't know what they were having but thankfully when the triplets started appearing, I changed the feed to help the ewes thrive.

The lambs had plenty of new friends to play with. Picture:Seamus Farrelly.
The lambs had plenty of new friends to play with. Picture:Seamus Farrelly.

"I had a number in a few pens on Tuesday and the ewe was in the corner on her own so I had an idea she was getting ready to give birth and when I came into the shed the next morning, there were the four lambs standing around her, all identical to the mother.

I'll haven't had a set of quads on my farm since 1974 when my father and I bought 20 sheep in Maynooth and brought them home.

"We had 42 lambs that year and this year, we have at least 200 so far," he said.

Jimmy, who has been sheep farming all his life admitted that the rain this year made life difficult for sheep.

"You have to keep them in all the time or you will lose a few and they like lying close to hedges so they could roll and drop into a drain and drown."

"A chap up the road had a sheep that had six lambs years ago and I know another farmer whose ewe had five but I haven't heard of three sets of quads in such a short period but I could be wrong," he said.

Jimmy who won the All-Ireland Sheering contests twice in 1976 and 1978 has worked sheering sheep all over Meath and surrounding counties.

During the Covid-19 situation, Jimmy said it was nice to see rural communities observing the social distancing.

"Everywhere is closed now and you tend to ring people. If you meet someone on the road, you tend to wave and carry on rather than stop and chat.

"Even in the local vets, you wait outside and what you need is brought out to you so it's good to see and hopefully it will do some good," he concluded.

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