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On the 25th March, eight 5-day-old lambs arrived at Edwalton Primary School Farm. Our Year 6 ‘Animal Welfare Ambassadors’ met them in the car park and carefully carried them to their new home before helping them settle in and teaching them how to feed off the milk warmer in their stall.
Our lambs are ‘cade’ lambs which means they are reared on a bottle. There can be several reasons why a lamb may need to raised by a farmer instead of its mother; the lamb may be orphaned or a triplet, it’s mother may not be able to produce enough milk or sometimes reject the lamb. If one ewe gives birth to a single and another has triplets, the farmer will usually try to get the singleton mother to accept one of the triplets but this is not always successful.
Our lambs have rubber bands around their tails, these have been on since they were born and eventually the tail will drop off. This is routinely done to prevent the fleece around the lambs rear becoming soiled and thus preventing a condition called fly strike. This is a painful condition where flies lay their eggs in the wool, resulting in maggots eating into the skin.
Every child in the school will get the chance to meet and have some time handling the lambs. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to help out our local farmer and to give the children a wonderful experience at the same time. After six weeks or so with us, the lambs will be big and strong enough to return to the flock and live at the farm.