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Rare quadruplet goats born at Lambourne End this spring

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 March 2018

Newly born lambs and goats at the Lambourne End Centre. Keira Perry with fundraiser Claire Gilmore holding the goat quadruplets

Newly born lambs and goats at the Lambourne End Centre. Keira Perry with fundraiser Claire Gilmore holding the goat quadruplets

Archant

There are some new kids on the block at Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning.

For the first time in the farm’s history, four goats were born to the same mum at the same time on Manor Road.

Fundraiser Claire Gilmore, was the first to spot Bella the goat going into labour and was captivated by the occasion.

She joked that she felt like an assistant midwife and it was a magical time for the young people at the centre who witnessed the birth.

“We thought that mum had finished after the first was born and we were ‘coo-ing’ and ‘aww-ing’ over her baby as it’s not unusual for them to have just one,” she said.

Newly born lambs and goats at the Lambourne End Centre. Fundraiser Claire GilmoreNewly born lambs and goats at the Lambourne End Centre. Fundraiser Claire Gilmore

“But about 20 minutes later, she started pushing and the excitement levels in the farm barn rose again.

“We did think that was it, so what a lovely surprise it was when she went down to deliver a third.

“She’d been needing some help delivering and each time, so just as our farm instructors had finished washing and drying their hands thinking it was all over, lo and behold mum would start pushing again and she did us all proud, delivering four healthy babies.”

The farmers made a big pen for all five of them to live in and Claire then had the amazing job of cleaning, drying and rubbing the kids with straw, as mum Bella could only clean one at a time.

Newly born lambs and goats at the Lambourne End Centre.Newly born lambs and goats at the Lambourne End Centre.

“I certainly didn’t need to be asked twice, I was straight in there on my hands and knees getting thoroughly stuck in,” she added.

The fluffy, new additions were just four out of 20 baby lambs and goats born this spring and there are many mums still expecting.

Two of the quads are feeding with Bella at any one time, with the other pair snoozing in an adjacent pen to make the multiples more manageable for the mum.

They are swapped over every four hours, and Bella is doing really well-producing milk for all her children.

Newly born lambs and goats at the Lambourne End Centre.Newly born lambs and goats at the Lambourne End Centre.

The farm is pleased it has not needed to use bottles as mum’s teets are top for the babies.

Farm instructor, Keira Perry, 22, has been working in the industry for 10 years.

She said they are thinking of holding a kid naming competition to raise money for toys.

“Goats are toddlers with four legs,” she said.

Newly born lambs and goats at the Lambourne End Centre. Fundraiser Claire GilmoreNewly born lambs and goats at the Lambourne End Centre. Fundraiser Claire Gilmore

“They are so bouncy and love playing on plastic children’s climbing frames and with footballs.”

As well as caring for the animals on the working farm, she also runs a programme for children in the area who find school challenging or suffer with anxiety issues.

The young people learn how to take care of animals and and gain qualifications in the process.

Along with the courses, the centre also works with the Prince’s Trust and hold activity residentials.

Rowan Garrett credits the food for thought programme with turning his life around after a childhood laced with crime and drugs.

“I got to the stage where I saw myself either dying or doing to prison - it was a dark place.

“The health and wellbeing project supports vulnerable and disadvantaged people to learn new skills, keep fit and make friends.

“The jobs we do are really meaningful like nurturing plants and harvesting fruit and vegetables. We even make jams and sell them in the farm shop.

“We all work in a team and it is such a calming environment – great for developing confidence, self worth and independence. It pretty much saved my life

Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning is a charity and they raise funds through donations and activity days to help young people learn and grow in confidence.

The next open day is on Sunday, April 22, and the farm is inviting everyone to come down between 11am and 4pm

Residents can meet the animals and take part in activities such as caving archery and kayaking.

They also have an Adventure Academy running during the Easter holidays between April 9 and 13

Children can enjoy being farmers for the day and take on adventure challenges. visit lambourne-end.org or call 020 8500 3047


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