HANDS FULL: Dorothy Hingst of Regency Downs with her triplet lambs, which were born on January 14 to her Suffolk ewe Onya.
HANDS FULL: Dorothy Hingst of Regency Downs with her triplet lambs, which were born on January 14 to her Suffolk ewe Onya. Lachlan McIvor

Triple treat proves hard to 'bleat'

IN HER near quarter of a century breeding sheep, Dorothy Hingst had never seen triple.

That was the case until two weeks ago, when her Suffolk ewe Onya became the proud mum to three female lambs - which were quickly dubbed Penny, Twopence and Threepence.

Over the several years Mrs Hingst has owned Onya, the ewe has given birth to a number of lambs, including several sets of twins.

When she arrived home to her Regency Downs property at lunch time on the Sunday they were born, she initially thought the ewe had given birth to twins again.

The two white lambs blended together but upon further inspection, she was shocked to see three little ones.

The three sisters are not identical - one is brown with a tight, curly coat while the other two have a smooth, white coat with brown spots.

Mrs Hingst said their father was either a Suffolk cross or a Damara.

While it was rare to see triplet lambs born, it was even more so to have them all survive past the birth.

"It was a real surprise... I was just really surprised at how big they were," Mrs Hingst said.

"I was just amazed at the size of them, straight away the mother was able to look after all three of them which I thought was really clever of her. I could see they were all fine from day one, they were jumping around.

"They had access to fresh water, fresh lucerne and the mum so I thought there's no way anyone's going to go hungry.

"She's in good condition herself for someone who's just had triplets."

In her 24 years breeding sheep on her property, which she initially started to keep the grass on her land down and have a supply of wool for spinning, Mrs Hingst had never seen triplets until now.

"I told all the neighbours and none of them have heard of anyone who's had triplets either, my neighbour over the back said 'I think I need to change my breeding stock'," she laughed.

"I don't know of anyone around here (who has had triplets) certainly.

"I'm also on this site online for Australian spinners and knitters and they've all got different breeds and no one there has said they've ever had triplets before.

"It can't be that common."



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