FOUR cross-suffolk ewes at the Ab Lench farm of Mr F P Hadley gave birth to two batches of lambs within 12 months 50 years ago.

The first arrivals in 1963 came in January, and the second batch of five lambs arrived in September. The farm manager, Mr A Hemming, said his knowledge of sheep dated back to his boyhood, but he could not recall a similar instance of Suffolks or cross-Suffolks lambing twice in the same year.

He believed the pnenomenon may be explained by the fact that during the unusually severe winter, the ewes were kept indoors and well fed, thus enabling them to maintain a good condition.

“The lambs born to the four ewes in January are still on the farm, and the second batch of lambs was achieved without the use artificial means,” said Mr Hemming. Altogether, there were 100 breeding ewes on the farm, half of them cross-Suffolks and the rest Border Leicesters.