Elgin rancher welcomes quintuplet lambs

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 4:11 PM CST
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ELGIN, N.D. (KFYR) - Lambing season has been full of surprises for North Dakota producers. From the bitter cold temperatures a week ago to the highs in the 50s, it has been a season of extremes.

But on the Mosbrucker ranch just south of Elgin, the biggest surprise this season has nothing to do with the weather.

Inside this barn, something extraordinary happened. Right in the middle of a very ordinary lambing season.

“I like the babies,” said DeAnn Mosbrucker as she prepared to bottle feed a lamb.

DeAnn and Bill Mosbrucker are busy taking care of those babies and their mamas. Most of these bottle-fed lambs are twins or triplets and their moms unable to feed them all.


“We’ve had a few sets of triplets,” DeAnn said.

Which brings us to the not so ordinary part of this lambing season; a moment Bill and DeAnn will never forget. When this 10-year-old ewe went into labor, Bill couldn’t believe what he saw.

“I started counting, one, two three. I was like, ‘Holy buckets. There are five!’ I expected three maybe but not five,” Bill said.

“He took a picture,” DeAnn said with a laugh.

“I didn’t think anybody would believe me if I told them one ewe had five lambs,” Bill explained.

One of the lambs didn’t survive.

“I just hate it when they don’t make it,” Bill said.

Still, he says that’s to be expected.

“It’s a lot of stress for those little guys,” he said.

But when people ask about the tale of quintuplet lambs and wonder if that really happened here, they need just ask Bill. The proof is in his picture.

Skip Anderson with the NDSU sheep unit says in most breeds of sheep, quintuplets are pretty rare.

Which makes it even more amazing that a Wishek producer also had quintuplet lambs this season. Rocky Brown says those lambs were born about a week ago, during the below zero weather. He says all five of those babies are doing well.

Quintuplet lambs in Wishek
Quintuplet lambs in Wishek(Rocky Brown)

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