Twins

After 66 years of reindeer herding in Scotland we have had a first. On the 8th May 2018 we had live twins born!

 

30 years ago we had twins, one was stillborn and the other survived for 12 hours. Since then we have had two sets (2008 and 2015) but both were stillborn so you can imagine our shock when we found them both alive and well.

 

Their mother Lulu is one of our older females in the herd, at 12 years, and she is taking everything in her stride and not batting an eyelid at the two little bundles following her. She loves them both and lets them feed, however we are giving her a helping hand by offering them a top-up of bottled milk as we feel she hasn’t got enough to sustain two. They spent their first two weeks up in our mountain enclosure where they were born and we have been going out first thing in the morning and last thing at night every day since to make sure they were getting enough milk. They were being supported to suckle from Lulu in their first few days but now they are growing well and coming on leaps and bounds, and feeding themselves.

 

We of course must remain realistic as this is extremely rare with only one other known case of twins being born in the world: in Finland in 2010. We will do our best by both them and Lulu, making sure she gets extra feed, browse and attention. Summer time is crucial for keeping an eye on reindeer with biting insects causing illnesses which the twins will be more susceptible to so their first six months are going to be a rocky road, however we feel they have rallied through their first two weeks so this amazing news can go public.

 

One of the first photos featuring Lulu and her twins.
Chris assisting with the first suckles
Nap time
Suckling together
Chris can’t keep his eyes off the twins
Getting stronger
but still tired
We gave Lulu and the twins the shed for the first few nights to help the boys save a little bit of extra energy for growing!

 

2 Replies to “Twins”

  1. Wonderful to see – wishing you all good luck with the twins – I will keep an active interest in how they get on.
    Thank you so much for sharing this – saw the article on bbc news.

  2. We scattered my Mum’s ashes in the Cairngorms last year – a place she loved! My sister (a twin herself) visited the reindeer after that & she is now a grandmother to identical twin boys (Teddy & Sidney) who were just born on 9th May, a day after your twins. This is wonderful news!

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