Facebook has lately been peppered with confusing pictures of lambs wearing woolly jumpers. Who would have thought a woolly baby would need a woolly jumper?
One of these pictures was posted by Allan Eyb on behalf of Taree Craft Centre, of a lamb wearing one of 70 jumpers donated by the Centre to help keep baby sheep warm.
Judith Tetley, a member of Taree Craft Centre, saw a callout on social media for the jumpers and had an immediate solution. The Community Crafters at the Centre had a stockpile of around 70 tiny jumpers, knitted for a previous project – jumpers for human babies in Africa who were born early. Luckily, the jumpers initially knitted for tiny babies fit the lambs perfectly.
The jumpers were donated to Little Lambs Tamworth, a Facebook page Tamworth local Ellie Cook started to pull together like-minded locals to take in lambs farmers could not rear themselves.
One of the many tragedies of the ongoing drought is the number of lambs who are needing to be hand reared.
Lambs are being orphaned due to their mothers dying because of lack of feed. They are also being rejected by their mothers, or the ewes are simply unable to provide enough milk to feed the lambs, again, due to lack of feed.
“We have been through droughts before but this area, and rest of NSW, has run out of feed to buy for stock. And prices have jumped so much,” Ellie said.
“The farmers we have been helping just have so many lambs needing help. Farmers just don’t have the time to give them. Newborns need feeding every two hours.
“Sadly we have been getting three to six-week-old babies in too that their mum has died or run out of milk and the lambs just need a couple of weeks more on milk to help them.
“We currently have over 70 lambs in care and four calves, with more coming in each day. Sometimes we get up to 12 lambs from one farm,” Ellie said.
The number of jumpers donated greatly helped Little Lambs Tamworth, but now they are needing jumpers for bigger lambs. They have also started taking in calves and need calf-sized coats, although these would need to be sewn, not knitted.
For further information contact Ellie via the Little Lambs Tamworth Facebook page.