A young sheep farmer from Ballyclare has welcomed a “massive” new addition to his flock - a lamb weighing in at a staggering 25.5lbs.
The pedigree Suffolk ‘tup’ lamb, which had to be delivered by caesarean section, is around double the size of a regular newborn lamb and is thought to be one of the biggest ever born in the UK.
Twelve-year-old William Stewart from Lower Ballyboley Road, who has his own flock of six pedigree Suffolk and Border Leicester sheep, told the Times how he and his father had to take his pregnant ewe to Clare Vets in Ballyclare on Sunday (February 15) after they realised there was no chance of her giving birth naturally due to the sheer size of the lamb she was carrying.
“The vet weighed him and he was 25.57lbs and the vet said he was the biggest lamb he’s ever lambed,” the delighted Ballyclare Secondary School pupil explained.
“I called him Herman because he’s a monster. Compared to normal lambs he’s a real monster.”
William, a member of Straid Young Farmers’ Club, confirmed that his ewe and her lamb are both doing well.
Asked what his plans are for Herman, the business savvy schoolboy says he definitely won’t be giving him the chop.
The budding sheep farmer is hoping that taking his ‘woolly lammoth’ to Northern Ireland’s biggest agricultural show in a few months time will attract a flock of potential buyers.
“I’ll hopefully take him to Balmoral and show him. I’ll see how he goes in the sales and I would sell him if he’s going to make the right price,” he said.
“It would be nice to hold on to him, but at the same time that’s what he’s for, selling.”
William and his family believe Herman is one of the biggest lambs ever born in the UK, and possibly anywhere in the world.
The Suffolk Sheep Society has confirmed that the heaviest newborn Suffolk lamb on record was born at a farm in Scotland in 2000 and weighed almost 30lbs.
But despite not quite being a record breaker, Herman is still much bigger than the average lamb and is possibly the heaviest ever born in Northern Ireland.
William’s dad, Alan, has been a sheep farmer for more than 40 years and has never seen a lamb like it.
“I’ve lambed some sheep in my time, but I’ve never seen anything like that. It was unbelievable,” he said.
Vet Martin Webb, who delivered the lamb, added: “I’ve been working as a vet since 2002 and I’ve never seen a lamb that big. I’ve seen a few that weighed in the high teens in pounds, but nothing quite like that. It was absolutely massive.
“I’m not sure about the records, but it was an enormous lamb. We weighed it and it was just over 11-and-a-half kilos, so about 25 pounds or so. It was quite exceptional.”