FIRST, the freak weather had us basking in glorious sunshine – then the little lambs started arriving early!
The first 12 newborns of the year have already skipped onto the scene in Hepworth, ahead of the usual April lambing season.
And another 22 woolly mums-to-be are due to give birth during the next fortnight.
But that’s nothing for the Turner family who run Martin Nest Farm at Victoria.
In April, they will deliver more newborns in three weeks than Huddersfield Royal Infirmary’s maternity unit does in three months when their main flock of 300 sheep give birth within days of each other.
Alison Turner, who helps run the farm, said: “Spring has been coming earlier over the past few years so my husband thought he would try lambing earlier this year with just 30 sheep.
“It means we can get them outside in the fields so they are free, rather than being penned up in sheds.
“I’ve not heard of any others being born this early around here so far. I think they are the first.
“So far so good.”
Lambing season is a 24-hour job for Alison, her husband Peter and their two sons who all help run the farm.
The team works in shifts to stay with the lambs around the clock to make sure they are on hand should any difficulties arise.
Alison said: “We work in shifts to make sure they are OK and are there to help if they need it.
“We don’t really need to do a lot if the lamb is coming facing forwards, but if it is coming backwards we do need to help them.
“But we have been doing it for over 30 years so know what to do.”
The newborns were are doing well and being looked after in the garden by their mothers.