Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Goat-sheep hybrid 'geep' born on Irish farm

The 'geep', a goat-sheep hybrid, had longer legs than the other lambs
The 'geep', a goat-sheep hybrid, had longer legs than the other lambs

A rare goat-sheep hybrid has been born on an Irish farm, much to the surprise of a farmer who said the ‘geep’ is thriving since its birth.

The healthy geep was born two weeks ago to a ewe at Paddy Murphy's farm in County Kildare and is believed to be the result of a goat mating with one of the sheep farmer's Cheviot ewes.

This form of cross-breading is extremely rare because of the genetic distance between both species. The geep usually dies either during the pregnancy, or is stillborn.

Mr Murphy told the Irish Farmers Journal he had seen a goat mating with the ewe on the farm five months ago, but had initially though nothing of it.

He now hopes to look after the geep for as long as possible and has no plans to send it to slaughter.

"He's absolutely thriving," Mr Murphy told RTÉ News. "He's running around a lot quicker than the other lambs which were born. He has much longer legs"

"The ewe has taken to him like he's just another lamb. There's no difference in how he's been reared."

The animal has even developed a set of horns, he added.

"He has been a great source of craic for the lads in the pub, we might even have a competition to name him,” Mr Murphy said.

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