IT feels like a long time until we will see the green shoots of spring and baby lambs frolicking in the fields — but on one farm in Rotherham, THREE lambs have arrived before Christmas, and the shepherd would like YOU to give one a festive name.
The sheepish trio arrived earlier this month at The Gables in Micklebring, a farm which has been run by the Spencer family since 1914.
Shepherd Lizzie Spencer said it was the first time lambs had been born on the farm before Christmas in at least 64 years, when her dad Richard was born.
“We went to buy a tup, or ram, from another farmer, and he was also selling these females that he thought were possibly in lamb, but we couldn’t confirm that,” she said.
But it turned out the ewes were expecting after all, as the first two lambs were born on December 3.
Lizzie named the male lamb Noel and is hoping Advertiser readers can come up with another suitably festive name for his sister.
And there was another ‘n-ewe’ arrival on December 5 — she has been named Rikki, because she shares a birthday with Richard.
Lizzie said: “Because the farmer said the ewes might be in lamb, we were half expecting it, but because they are first-timers, sometimes they are a bit later.”
Lizzie said there might yet be more lambs due before Christmas because a ram had broken into the ewe’s pen.
She said most of her lambs acquired names and each had their own personality.
“When it’s your job, you need to know if someone is not looking right, and you get to know their names really well” she said.
The Gables produces wheat, barley and oil seed rape, and has about 300 ewes a year, who produce about 600 lambs.
Lizzie said that in the UK, the only lambs that would usually be born at this time of year would be pedigree lambs, and they would be lambed indoors because of the weather.
On most farms such as The Gables, lambing takes place between February and April.
To suggest a name for the new arrival, fill in the online form below.
A name will be chosen at random from the entries received by 5pm on Wednesday, December 23.