Australian farmer finds five-legged lamb in his flock
An Australian wool farmer said a lamb from his family’s flock will now become a family pet because of an unusual feature: an extra leg growing out of its head.
Sam Kuerschner, of Orroroo, South Australia, said he was taking a break from shearing about three weeks ago when his father noticed something unusual about one of the lambs in the pen.
“He had a bit of a second glance and said, ‘That sheep’s got five legs’. We all sort of stood up and had a bit of a look and sure enough it did,” Kuerschner told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
He said the extra leg was made all the more unusual by the fact that it’s coming out of the back of the animal’s head.
“It’s a fully formed leg. There’s bone and joints and it’s even got a sort of hoof on the end of it, and seems to be attached to the sheep just through skin or flesh, rather than a bone joint,” he said.
Kuerschner said the leg looks more like a mullet hairstyle than a spare limb. He said the sheep will become a family pet once it gets a little older.
“When the time comes to wean it off its mother, I think I’ll take it home and it can run around the house yard. I’ve got three little kids and they’ll be fascinated to have that as a bit of a special pet for hopefully the rest of its life,” he said.
Veterinarian Paul Nilon of Perth estimated one in 200,000 sheep are born with an extra limb.
“The most common variation I’ve seen is where you have an additional foot and hoof growing out the side of the lower leg, but I have seen at least one growing from the head,” he said.
South Australia farmer Marshall Bowey made a similar discovery in 2020, when he found a lamb in his flock had an extra leg growing out from the side of its head. The lamb, which had two feet on its spare leg, was named Starfish.