Lambing drama at dale farm plays out for TV cameras
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
A TELEVISION cameraman got more than he bargained for when he visited a dale farm to film the first spring lambs of the year.
Instead of footage of lambs frolicking, Tyne Tees TV’s Paul Kingston captured farmer Stephen Lamb rushing to the rescue of a ewe in distress, resuscitating its newborn lamb.
The event came about when Mr Kingston headed to Doe Park Farm, near Cotherstone, where the first two lambs of 2021 had been safely delivered.
Mr Lamb said: “All he wanted was ten seconds of the lambs. As it happened we had a lambing occur while he was there.
“The first lamb had trouble breathing and I had to do mouth to mouth resuscitation.
“He thought that was fantastic – he filmed the truck going up to the field and the ewe being caught. Then he filmed the birth.”
While the dramatic events were not shown on the news feature later that night, it was posted on ITV Tyne Tees’ social media.
The next two weeks will be busy for Mr Lamb and his wife Alison as they have an unusually high number of ewes due to have triplets and some even expecting quadruplets.
Mrs Lamb said: “It is not great because triplets mean pet lambs. The optimum number is two.”
Ewes have only two teats on their udder, she explained, so ideally the third lamb is paired to a ewe that has only had one newborn, but this must be done within 24 hours of a birth otherwise there is a chance the ewe may reject the lamb she is to adopt.
At Doe Park Farm, the flock of 270 ewes will be giving birth in two separate batches.
The first batch are currently giving birth, and the second starts on March 4.
Mr Lamb said: “The trouble is most of the triplets are in the first batch and those expecting one lamb are in the second batch.
“We have 65 sets of triplets and we have three sets of quads.”
Mrs Lamb added that while this is not a record number of triplets at the farm, it is unusually high.
The farm also rarely has more than one ewe expecting of quadruplets each lambing season.
The extra lambs that cannot be paired to a new mother will have to be hand-reared by the couple.
To view Mr Kingston’s footage, go to @ITVTyneTees on Twitter.