YOUTH MATTERS Kelly Wickham...Spring is here with the arrival of newborn lambs

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Spring has arrived and one of my favourite signs is seeing all the sweet little fluffy lambs in the fields, frolicking with each other among the daffodils in the warm sun.

I was therefore excited to visit friends Tracey and Keith on their farm nearby with my mum, last Sunday afternoon. I always get really enthusiastic when we visit and love seeing all the animals, including chickens, geese, cows, pigs and of course the sheep, and find myself being really energetic around the farm in my wellies, petting them all.

This week we visited on a beautiful spring day and Tracey showed us the newborn triplet lambs which had been born by a mother unable to produce milk.

The two males and their sister were in a little pen, curled up together, and have to be hand-reared and fed with bottles. We all picked one up each and I was instantly smitten with the one I had, who was born with dark spots on his back in the shape of a think bubble. He settled in my arms and started dozing off, while my mum had the overexcited boy who wouldn’t stop fidgeting or bleating.

Among the chatting and cooing, we saw a sheep in the field look agitated, and once we rounded them all up inside the barn (with a bucket of feed, not collies!) on closer inspection, the poor thing was in labour. My mum and I watched Keith and Tracey calmly but efficiently turn the sheep on her side, put on fetching bright orange gloves and delve inside to get the lamb’s legs and head for removal. It was a painful sight, as the sheep was distressed with the size of the lambs, and it wasn’t one for the squeamish, but a healthy girl was eventually with us. Keith took over and had to search for the other lamb inside, while Tracey held her weight on the sheep to keep her steady. A sister soon came out, thanks to the couple’s teamwork and all three were soon penned off to clean up, get acquainted and feed!

Watching minute-old lambs try to stand and automatically find the source of food is completely bewildering, but equally amazing, and spring is most certainly here.

It had to be one of the best experiences to witness, though it has put me off the thought of having children one day!