Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/03/21/four_teat_sheep/

NZ plans four-nippled sheep

Too many lambs, not enough teats

By Lester Haines

Posted in Science, 21st March 2007 10:37 GMT

New Zealand scientists plan to tackle the thorny problem of ewes producing more lambs than they have nipples to accommodate, by simply upping mum's teat-count, Stuff.co.nz reports.

Apparently, NZ's ovine population has become more fertile over the past 10 years and females often drop triplets. AgResearch Invermay scientist George Davis solemnly explained: "A triplet, if he is the runt of the litter, is usually doomed."

Accordingly, Davis is scouring sheep flocks for ewes with four nipples, and hopes to use them to assemble a flock "from which rams can be bred to pass on this trait". ®