How Australia is Knitting Together to Save the Lives of Orphaned Lambs
The kindness of Australians has saved the lives of dozens of orphaned lambs who needed knitted jumpers to stay alive after being abandoned by their mothers.
Aussie farmer Marie Knight put out an emergency SOS for help on Facebook when she couldn’t provide enough jumpers to save ‘poddy lambs’ on her New South Wales property – and was overwhelmed by the response.
“A poddy is a lamb who is orphaned after the death or abandonment of its mother, which often happens with ewes becoming a mother for the first time or ewes who birth multiple lambs,” said Marie.
“Poddy lambs left by themselves can get too cold and pass away, so I came up with the idea of putting the request on Facebook, not expecting much of a response,” she said.
The idea exploded and before long Marie was driving a truck to the post office to pick up all the jumpers she’d been sent.
“Even driving a truck to the post office, which is about 32km away, I still couldn’t get all the jumpers on the truck.”
“It was just a small request, at first, but it’s grown so big that we’ve had to stop taking jumpers and are now just looking for farmers to take all the jumpers we’ve been sent!”
The initial post led to the Lamb Jumpers project, which Marie says has been a lot of work, but also immensely rewarding.
“On top of the economic benefit of keeping the lambs alive, it just feels like our moral responsibility as farmers,” she says. “If you’re a farmer and you don’t love animals, you’re in the wrong business.”
“But the added bonus has been the way it’s brought a sense of community to what can be a lonely job, especially during the drought. People send jumpers, letters and photos from all around Australia and the response has been just incredible.”
“Every time I get a photo of a little lamb wearing its new jumper, it gives me a wonderful feeling.”
“Plus, managing the distribution of the jumpers to where they need to go has broken up a bit of the monotony of the job. The creativity of some of these jumpers we’ve been sent is just a lovely thing to see.”
Marie and the Lamb Jumpers Project are putting the call out to farmers from across the country to take some of the jumpers they have available for their poddy lambs.
If you’d like to participate, simply contact the Lamb Jumpers Project on Facebook.
by Andrew Williams