Sunday 23 November 2014

Sisters' joy at saving own 'woolly mammoth'

Tom Shiel

Published 11/03/2014 | 02:30

Shauna Tierney aged 11 and her sister Emily aged 6 with their 1 week old ewe lamb which weighed 18lbs at birth on the family farm at Roundfort, Hollymount, Co. Mayo. Photo : Keith Heneghan / Phocus.
Shauna Tierney aged 11 and her sister Emily aged 6 with their 1 week old ewe lamb which weighed 18lbs at birth on the family farm at Roundfort

LUCY is not such a little lamb. She is in fact twice the size of most newborns, tipping the scales at 18lbs when she arrived last week.

The Mayo sheep is not the largest ever in the world but is certainly among the heavyweights.

And she will be spared the 'chop' because of her supersize at the insistence of 11-year-old Shauna Tierney, daughter of farmer Declan Tierney, who delivered the 'woolly mammoth' on his farm at Caherafort, Roundfort.

The average healthy weight for a lamb is between 5-7lbs.

Shauna, her younger sister Emily (6) and teenage brother John (15) are delighted that Lucy, a Suffolk Texel cross, will be spared the slaughterhouse and used instead for breeding.

"The girls especially are delighted and excited," said Declan. "Shauna has been googling like mad and discovered that newborn lambs weighing 18lbs are very rare. The world record stands at just over 20lbs."

Lucy, one of the first lambs born on the Tierney holding this year, is thriving from all the attention she is getting from the younger members of the Tierney family and neighbouring children.

A spokesman for the Irish Farmers' Association described Lucy's size as "remarkable".

"The average lamb is about 7lbs when born," he said.

Irish Independent

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