Newborn Halloween lambs arrive out of season 

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Things that go baaa in the night! Newborn Halloween lambs arrive out of season

  • Lambing has been taking place on south-west farms despite the unusual season
  • Dorset Poll lambs are often born in autumn due to the mild climate 
  • Farmers Emily Gascoigne and Adam Smith have been breeding them for years
  • They are set for a busy month with 70 ewes lambing and 20 babies born so far

Lambing season is usually spring but in one part of Britain they’ve arrived – in time for Halloween.

The mild climate means the sheep at the Big Sheep attraction in Bideford, Devon are happy to lamb in autumn.

Owner Rick Turner said it’s not unheard of – but isn’t common.

‘About one per cent of the national flock is born in autumn,’ he said.

Newborn lambs have been leaping through fallen leaves on their farm in Swanage, Dorset

Newborn lambs have been leaping through fallen leaves on their farm in Swanage, Dorset

Farmers Emily Gascoigne and Adam Smith are set for a busy month with 70 ewes currently lambing and about 20 babies born so far

Farmers Emily Gascoigne and Adam Smith are set for a busy month with 70 ewes currently lambing and about 20 babies born so far

The Poll Dorset breed are naturally capable of breeding out of season, particularly in the south west of England

The Poll Dorset breed are naturally capable of breeding out of season, particularly in the south west of England

‘The mild climate in Devon helps.’

Meanwhile other newborn lambs have been leaping through fallen leaves on their farm in Swanage, Dorset.

Farmers Emily Gascoigne and Adam Smith are set for a busy month with 70 ewes currently lambing and about 20 babies born so far.

But these are not late arrivals as the Poll Dorset breed are naturally capable of breeding out of season, particularly in the south west of England.

The breed are well suited to the milder winters on the Isle of Purbeck and are the only UK breed capable of producing lambs three times in two years.

Vet Emily, 32, said: ‘We’re about four weeks in and we’re hoping to be done by mid-November.

The breed are well suited to the milder winters on the Isle of Purbeck and are the only UK breed capable of producing lambs three times in two years

The breed are well suited to the milder winters on the Isle of Purbeck and are the only UK breed capable of producing lambs three times in two years

The farmers have been breeding the lambs for four years and appreciate their local heritage

The farmers have been breeding the lambs for four years and appreciate their local heritage

Vet Emily, 32, said: 'We're about four weeks in and we're hoping to be done by mid-November'

Vet Emily, 32, said: ‘We’re about four weeks in and we’re hoping to be done by mid-November’

The youngsters jumped among the leaves on the ground of the Dorset farm in the adorable snaps

The youngsters jumped among the leaves on the ground of the Dorset farm in the adorable snaps

‘Winters are quite mild here, which suits the Polls, whereas February and March can be quite horrible – the Beast from the East and so on.

‘Poll Dorset are the only UK breed capable of lambing three times in two years, but we only lamb once a year.

‘We’ve been breeding them for about four years and liked their Dorset heritage and the fact they are capable of something a bit special.

Poll Dorset are the only UK breed capable of lambing three times in two years, but the farmers only lamb once a year

Poll Dorset are the only UK breed capable of lambing three times in two years, but the farmers only lamb once a year

The young lambs were playful as they jumped among the leaves as they enjoyed their time on the farm

The young lambs were playful as they jumped among the leaves as they enjoyed their time on the farm

Emily and Adam have been breeding Poll Dorset lambs for a number of  years and say they love working with the animals

Emily and Adam have been breeding Poll Dorset lambs for a number of  years and say they love working with the animals

‘They are really good mums and they’re also a really good commercial sheep. They’re really docile and really nice to work with.

‘Anyone who has a garden on the Isle of Purbeck knows summer is a very hard time, in spring there is not much grass.

‘Whereas now it’s still quite warm and there is lots of grass and grazing.’

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