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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Surprising, Ms Daisy - nanny gives birth to goat-sheep twins

Angela Bermingham believes This and That are genuine goat/sheep hybrids, despite their rarity. Photo : Keith Heneghan / Phocus
Angela Bermingham believes This and That are genuine goat/sheep hybrids, despite their rarity. Photo : Keith Heneghan / Phocus

A nanny goat called Daisy has given birth to what are believed to be twin "geeps" - goat/sheep hybrids - after a week-long dalliance with a Cheviot ram on a Co Mayo farm.

Angela Bermingham, originally from Bury, Manchester, the proud owner of the unusual progeny, intends on keeping Daisy's offspring as pets.

Her geeps, named This and That, may be the world's only surviving twin sheep/goat hybrids.

Prancing

The father is believed to be a Cheviot ram from Padraic Holmes's farm at Murneen, Claremorris. Padraic's father Michael has been doing research on geeps since This and That came prancing into the world some weeks ago.

"To have one geep survive is rare," he said. "But to have two fit and healthy twins running around must be regarded as something of a miracle."

Ms Bermingham, who doesn't own a male goat, says there are none roaming around who could have mated with her Daisy.

She says she knew there was something going on when Daisy jumped a fence into land owned by Mr Holmes, where a flock of ewes, which were being serviced by a Cheviot ram, were grazing.

"I knew something was going on because she didn't come out of the field for a week," Angela said.

"When she became obviously pregnant I knew immediately what had happened."

Hugging the two extremely agile little animals on one of the rare occasions she could get her hands on them, Ms Bermingham took a close-up look and reckoned: "Well, they're not goats and they're not lambs either. They were born with no horns and a full set of sharp teeth. That's not usual."

She then pulled back one of the little geep's lips to reveal a formidable arrangement of sharp incisors.

Michael Holmes, a member of Mayo County Council and former chairman of the IFA's National Sheep Committee, expressed certainty that the curious creatures are ram and goat hybrids.

"These little geeps are very unusual," he said. "I have never seen twins before and I have seen a lot of sheep all over the world."

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