THE chances of a ewe giving birth to five lambs is a million to one, but farming brothers Robert and Andrew Mackintosh have beaten the odds for the second year in a row.

A ewe at their Highland farm gave birth to the rare set of quintuplets last week and both mother and babies are doing well.

Andrew, 41, of Glengolly, near Thurso, who helped make the delivery, said he was stunned to see five lambs pop out, especially after another of their ewes gave birth to quintuplets during the lambing season last year.

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Despite the unusual pregnancy, he said the labour was one of the easiest there has been at the farm this year.

"Despite the ewe giving birth to five lambs, it was a straightforward labour," he said. "The lambs came out of the mother one straight after the other without any difficulty.

"There were also no health problems with any of the lambs and, despite being quintuplets, they are all regular size. "You rarely see a ewe giving birth to quintuplets, so to have it happen second year running is a complete surprise."