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Lambs starting to arrive - a little early

Last updated 05:00 21/07/2014
Skye Sherris
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/FAIRFAX NZ
TUCKING IN: Skye Sherris, 5, feeds two 48-hour-old orphan lambs, Fred and Samantha, on her family’s farm at Fairview. 

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Lambing has started in South Canterbury and as long as the ewes have plenty of feed and some shelter they should be fine, according to a local farmer.

Richard Peckitt said the end of July was the usual lambing season start. Though the end of the month was more than a week away the new lambs were early, "but not extra early".

He said the wet weather affected them more than frost. If they got cold and wet they could succumb to hypothermia.

"The snow on top of the wet was not good," he said.

With 125mm of snow falling on Saturday night, Peckitt said the gullies and creeks were running with water as it melted during the day.

Having originally farmed in England, Peckitt said the weather was so severe there they had to lamb indoors.

He said it was hard work lambing in New Zealand if there was no shelter and the weather was inclement. "But as long as the mother has plenty of feed the newborn will be OK."

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- The Timaru Herald

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