Holly and Ivy born at Christmas

AN animal-loving family had their numbers boosted after their pet sheep gave birth to two cute little lambs on Christmas Day.Festively named Holly and Ivy, the twins have seven other brothers and sisters and were introduced into the world after a little bit of drama at the smallholding owned by Alice and Phil Bibby, in Washbrook, near Ipswich.

AN animal-loving family had their numbers boosted after their pet sheep gave birth to two cute little lambs on Christmas Day.

Festively named Holly and Ivy, the twins have seven other brothers and sisters and were introduced into the world after a little bit of drama at the smallholding owned by Alice and Phil Bibby, in Washbrook, near Ipswich.

Mrs Bibby, 40, a financial administrator at the Novotel hotel in Ipswich, said: "One of the lambs was stuck and had to be pulled out backwards after a bit of help. It can be quite dangerous and the lamb was very weak afterwards and has had to be bottle-fed since."

The lamb has since made a full recovery and will grow up with the rest of the family's pets, which include an Alsatian bitch called Abbie, a pony called Zebedee and Lucy, a pot bellied pig.

The special deliveries have delighted the couple's children, Michelle, 16 and Aaron, 13, and they will be part of the family for the next few months at least.

"The kids really like the new lambs and even the dog likes playing with them. We usually keep them as family pets and we certainly are not going to be eating them," said Mrs Bibby.

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"I'm not sure if we will keep all nine lambs, but we will look after them until at least July or August."

Mrs Bibby and her husband, a 48-year-old builder, are used to looking after animals, although helping them give birth was quite a steep learning curve.

"Once you are faced with the situation, you just go for it. The first time I had to do it I was on my own. I put one hand in, then the other, then I realised I still had all my rings on and my watch on," she said.

"It all went okay though and when you have done it once, you can keep doing it again – except now I remember to take my jewellery off."

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