WALTON _ Jennifer Fogliano spent last Friday night counting sheep, but she got very little sleep.
Fogliano's dorper ewe, Brooke, went into labor, began giving birth at about 10 p.m. and didn't stop until midnight, when she completed a rare quintuplet birth.
"This is such an abnormality," Fogliano said Thursday. "She is an awesome mom."
Brooke had three normal-sized rams, and then a tiny ewe was born.
Fogliano said she had been running between the barn and the house in the rain and was soaking wet, so she took the "teeny little girl" into the house, thinking the lambing was over.
She had just changed into dry clothes when her father, Nick Fogliano, called her back to the barn, as another lamb on the way. The last lamb was also a ewe, but she was the largest of the quintuplet flock.
According to the American Dorper Sheep Breeders' Society website, dorpers often have twins or triplets, but quintuplets are not mentioned.
Another set of lamb quintuplets born in Vevay Township, Mich., last week to a Suffolk-mix ewe have been an Internet sensation, getting mention on numerous websites.
Jean McCumber, owner of CMP Dorpers in Sidney Center, sold Brooke to Fogliano. McCumber said Brooke had twins the first time she gave birth and had two sets of triplets after that, so it wasn't a surprise that she had a multiple pregnancy. Quints were never a consideration, however.
"I have been raising sheep for nine years, and I have never seen quints before," McCumber said.
Fogliano said the tiny ewe weighed about a pound, and she knew she needed help caring.
"It was after midnight when I called Jean," Fogliano said. "I hated to call so late, but I didn't know what to do."
McCumber said she was tending a sheep giving birth to triplets when Fogliano called, but she didn't hesitate to go and lend a hand.
"It's no wonder she was in a panic," McCumber said. "This was her first lambing."
Fogliano said McCumber told her to put the little lamb inside a plastic bag and zip it up around her neck. They then put the lamb into a sink full of warm water.
"You have to make sure they are warm before you feed them," McCumber said.
McCumber said Brooke was a triplet who was also bottle-fed. McCumber said Brooke is small for the breed but a phenomenal mother.
"Brooke has been wonderful about letting people get near the lambs," McCumber said. "Actually, I think she is in her glory. She loves all the attention."
Fogliano named the little lamb Lilly, and her big sister is called Tinkerbell. She said the boys are going to be sold, so she didn't name them or she wouldn't be able to part with them.
"They are so cute," Fogliano said. "We are so blessed."
Lilly is a bottle baby who wears diapers and lives in the house. The other four lambs are outside with their mother, and they are all doing well.
The quints will become part of Fogliano's flock at Dragonfly Pond Farm on county Route 23. Her other sheep are named Nutmeg, Daffodil, Daisy Duke and Lambchop.
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