Lambs see how udder half lives

By AMY SHANKS


Helen Hansen has got her hands full with bounding baby lambs, but you won't find a bottle or artificial teat in sight.

The Hastings woman has managed to latch them on to seven of her most docile dairy cows.

While using surrogate cows was not new on the Maraekakaho farm, it was the largest number of lambs she had tried to rear at one time.

"Years ago I had a motherless lamb and a dairy cow who was about to calf in the same paddock. I would go down to bottle feed the lamb, but it wouldn't drink - one day I looked out and saw it drinking from the cow.

"We had some more cows last year who raised 12 lambs, now we have got about 140 of them."

The lambs had no problem adapting, and the cows learned pretty quickly, she said.

"We have got about seven cows, three that we normally use and others who are pretty quiet. We also raise calves off the cows, some have had their own calves and they cotton on pretty quick.

"A few of the lambs are bigger than others, but they just climb up on one another if they can't reach [the udder]."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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