News State Western Australia News Rare five-legged, six-footed lamb born on Western Australian farm

Rare five-legged, six-footed lamb born on Western Australian farm

Kojonup farmer Marshall Bowey with his five-legged lamb. Photo: Marshall Bowey
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A rare five-legged, six-footed lamb has been born on a farm in the southern Western Australian town of Kojonup.

Farmer Marshall Bowey spotted the unusual arrival at the weekend.

“We were tailing lambs and realised one had five legs and six feet,” Mr Bowey said.

“I’ve come across lambs with little growths of wool on their backs or legs, but never seen a fifth leg, let alone with six feet.

“I’ve got no idea what would cause something like this.

“When it was running along it would throw its head down and try to use the fifth leg as it trotted along.”

The lamb’s extra leg is protruding from its front shoulder area and has two feet attached to it.

Likely genetic defect

Mr Bowey has kept a close eye on the lamb, which is of a very healthy size and is in good health.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development senior veterinary pathologist Dr Shane Besier said the extra limb was likely to be a random defect.

“It’s very rare, we get really sporadic reports of it,” Dr Besier said.

“The lamb is more likely to have a sporadic individual genetic defect.”

The big, healthy lamb with five legs is doing well. Photo: Marshall Bowey

Dr Besier said it was unlikely to be a hereditary or enould make sure it could survive with the extra limb, otherwise he would arrange to have it amputated.

“It’s one of the biggest lambs this year, so it’s pretty healthy,” he said.