Polka-dot ewe welcomes five spotty lambs at Otago farm

A ewe in Otago has given birth to her own flock, but Kiwis will spot a bit of a difference with these lambs.

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Sue Rissman’s lambs are easy to spot – black, white and utterly unique. Source: Seven Sharp

Sue Rissman's quintuplet lambs are pretty easy to recognise - they're black, white and utterly unique.

It's not a breed as such, but rather a recessive gene they have.

"They are just normal lambs, though," Rissman says.

They're pretty uncommon and this quintet is one in a million.

"I was there right from the start and actually it wasn't easy," Rissman says.

"Her first lamb's head was back. So I had to deliver the lambs and I thought I'd done a pretty thorough job, actually."

Mum's name is No Nuts, an old nickname that stuck even when she decided she did want to eat nuts.

Turns out No Nuts is something of a super mum.

"Last year she had quads so I was keeping an eye on her and she was pretty big, so I thought maybe she was going to do that again," Rissman says.

As she delivered the fourth, she thought she was done.

But instead of the afterbirth, a fifth lamb followed.

It's not a record, but it is extremely rare. Rissman says last year's quadruplets were a first for her, even before this year's quintuplets.

She's had spotted sheep since the 80s but the bloke she bought them off started his black and white flock in the 70s. 

"He asked farmers to not cull them, to keep them and he would take them off their hands," Rissman says.

"They didn't want them because they had to pick the colour out of the wool and so they were just nuisance value. And so he started his own little flock.

"Over the years we've sold a lot of them to lifestyle block sort of people who like to have spotty sheep too."

If you've got a bit of dirt and you'd like a lawnmower with a personality, Rissman's maternity ward is filling up.