Lamb with five legs born in South Australia

FIVE LEGS: "Bailey Smith" was born as the only lamb of her litter with a deformity causing a fifth leg to grow from her head. Photo: supplied.

A lamb with a fifth leg growing out of her head will happily live on a South Australian farm as a family pet after being given the temporary name "Bailey Smith" due to the mullet-like nature of how the appendage hangs from her head.

Wool farmer and shearer Sam Kuerschner, of Orroroo, said he was "surprised and intrigued" when he first noticed the lamb and its deformity while on his farm in South Australia's Mid North.

"I have never seen anything like it in my time as a farmer and shearer, and neither has my father who has been farming for 50 years," he said.

"Only one of my children has seen the lamb, Millie, three years old, and she didn't seem any more interested in it than any of the other lambs."

Mr Kuerschner's father-in-law, Colin Trengove, is a vet and gave an opinion on what could have caused the deformity.

"It resembles the first case of Developmental Duplication (DD) I saw in Angus cattle, although the duplicated leg is located in a more anterior position in this case," Dr Trengove said.

"It is likely an aberration of cell signalling in embryonic neurulation."


This kind of cell activity can lead to conditions known as polymelia or Dysmelia, a pattern of malformation in a group of congenital defects of the limbs.

With no other deformities among her litter, "Bailey Smith" appears to be in perfect help despite her bizarre appendage.

The Western Bulldogs footballer of the same name is a dashing figure with a mullet hairstyle. He was prominent in the AFL finals.

This story Once-in-a-lifetime lamb has a fifth leg first appeared on Port Lincoln Times.