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Bailey Te Whero, left, enjoys a cuddle with his lamb Snowy, and Gabrielle Te Whero with his lamb Spike.

Rearing to go with donated lambs

Hikutaia School students are currently preparing donated lambs for their local agricultural days in October.
Rose Walmsley, who owns a drystock farm on Old Maratoto Rd in Hikutaia, told The Profile she collected the woolly creatures from a Spring Sheep Milk Company farm near Te Awamutu in August.
“Spring Sheep this year have been offering free lambs for rearing and for agricultural day or personal use so we rang them up and placed an order,” she said.
“The 30 lambs that I picked up were weathered and they can’t be bred, so we’re almost helping the sheep farm out by taking these lambs because they’re almost a by-product of the industry.”
Rose, whose four daughters are also taking part in the agricultural days at Hikutaia School, said the students met her at her property on August 22 to choose their lamb.
“It was quite cute actually, they were so happy, they all had a turn to look at the lambs and pick which one they wanted and they were so excited all cuddling their lambs,” she said.
“The kids took them home and they’ll be feeding them before and after school and some of them are still giving the lambs a bottle at night.
“We only had two entrants last year [for lambs] so If we can get most of the kids to bring those animals, we will have a big leap in lamb numbers. Rose said the secret to having a winning lamb was for it to be in good condition.
“They’ve got to have bright eyes, be happy and healthy, and if the kids spent a lot of time with the animal, you’ll see that the animal will follow them around,” she said.
“It’s quite a big commitment to stick to rearing an animal for kids, but you’ll see on ag day if you put in the effort, the animals will go well.”
The agricultural day for Hikutaia School is scheduled to be held on October 19 with the group agricultural day for Ohinemuri schools scheduled to take place at Netherton School on October 27.