If you're a winter lamb, owned by a vegetarian who loves you enough to pop a knitted winter woolly and nappy on you, your chances of long-term survival are good.

Abby the lamb was found sick and close to death this month on a Hawke's Bay farm after she was rejected by her mother.

New adoptive mother Tanya Koens says Abby is safe living with vegetarians. Photo / Paul Taylor
New adoptive mother Tanya Koens says Abby is safe living with vegetarians. Photo / Paul Taylor

That's when vegetarian Tanya Koens stepped in, assuming a motherly role with the wee lamb that was born with the eye disease entropion, which sometimes affects newborn lambs.

Either at birth, or shortly after, the lamb's lower eyelid can invert.

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"When we brought her back from the vet, she had blood under her eyes," Koens said.

However, Koens, from flower shop Flowers by Tanya, has taken the 13-day-old lamb under her maternal wing.

Koens takes her to work because she needs to be fed four or five times a day, and is happy running around the flower shop in her pink wool coat and nappy (which makes cleaning up after her a lot easier).

Abby's favourite spot is lying as close to the fire as possible.

When she's a bit bigger the flowers in the shop will surely be in danger, but for now Abby is on a diet of colostrum and lamb milk replacement.

Abby the lamb explores her second home, Flowers by Tanya. Photo / Paul Taylor
Abby the lamb explores her second home, Flowers by Tanya. Photo / Paul Taylor

While naturally lambs are born in spring, Koens said sheep are sometimes bred to lamb in winter so their offspring were big enough in time for Christmas dinner.

That won't happen to Abby, though.

"She lives with vegetarians now."

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