Friday, January 27, 2012

Legs of lamb

Some posts are harder to research than others. Googling today's topic of lambs with more than 4 legs yields more yummy recipes than unique stories! But I have found a few to accompany the most recent news of anomalous birth in the barnyard:

Velistsikhe, Georgia 2012 Shepherd Abadzhanov Albert shows off his 6-legged hermaphroditic lamb (1st image, video here). "I have been asking the other shepherds, but none of them remember such case. There were 3-legged lambs, one-eyed, but not 6-legged. The lamb eats well, but moves with difficulty."

Aughagowla, County Mayo, Ireland 2011
Local veterinary surgeon George O'Malley removed 2 extra legs from a 6-week-old lamb, an anomaly the farmer had not seen in 40 years (4th image), although he had attended the births of calves with 2 heads and other animals born with a multiplicity of tails. "I received a call from the farmer, who wishes to remain anonymous, shortly after the lamb was born. It was an amazing sight. Thankfully the lamb grew stronger and it was not in any way life-threatening to remove the 2 legs, which were causing the animal some inconvenience. The amputation went very smoothly and there was no pain involved for the lamb who responded exceedingly well. 'Lambo' is fit, perfectly healthy and can walk without any problems now. I am delighted about that and so is the lamb's owner."

Methven, South Island, New Zealand 2007
Veterinarian Steve Williams examines a 6-day-old lamb born with 7 legs on the farm of Dave Callaghan (3rd image). Because the lamb was missing a portion of its bowel, it was unable to pass its waste and had to be destroyed. Said the farmer: "I have never seen anything like that. To keep it alive is probably inhumane really."

Meeuwen-Gruitrode, Belgium 2006
Farmer Maurice Peeters, feeds a lamb born with 6 legs (2nd image, more photos here). "The vet immediately put his hand on it, and asked me if I'd seen it. I said I'd seen it and I said I'd seen it has way too many legs." Since the lamb was unable to walk but otherwise healthy, Peeters planned to have the extra legs amputated.

If you add in these 6-legged lambs born in Kenya and Turkey, that's 37 legs of lamb! Rather than have the amputated limbs go to waste, the New Zealand lamb was donated to the
Pompallier Catholic College for dissection. Biology teacher Nigel Studdart said it would give the students the opportunity to compare normal and abnormal development. "I'll get them hands-on doing some of the dissection, those that really want to have a go, because they'll never forget it. It's the sort of thing that inspires kids into science."

1 comment:

  1. The first one I saw, with 5 legs, was in a case at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. I was 11, and the sight stayed with me.


You may add your comments here.