She’s not exactly the runt of the litter but four-week-old Daisy is the odd lamb out.
Daisy’s mum gave birth to triplets but sheep only have two teats.
Fearing that Daisy would be pushed out and left hungry, owner Richard Auty decided to hand feed his tiny new arrival.
Retired civil engineer Richard, 71, of Upper Hopton, keeps sheep as a hobby and for the last month has been acting as a surrogate dad to Daisy.
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Three times a day Richard takes a bottle of milk for Daisy so she doesn’t miss out.
Richard said: “Triplets aren’t particularly rare – and quads are certainly not unknown – but the being the smallest Daisy would probably miss out.
“Even though I’ve been feeding her from a bottle she’s still smaller than the others and it may take her a few months to catch up.”
Richard’s field, on a windswept hillside in Hopton Lane, is passed by hundreds of people every day and his roadside bottle feed – and cute lambs – has attracted plenty of attention.
Richard used to keep beef cows but switched to sheep 15 years ago. He now has five ewes and 10 lambs which all live out in the field – whatever the weather. Every year he buys a ram from Holmfirth livestock market to mate with his ewes.
None of Richard’s sheep have names – Daisy was suggested by one of his grandchildren and it stuck – because Richard can’t afford to get too attached.
While it may sound harsh Richard breeds lambs for their meat. Once old enough they are taken to an abbatoir and he freezes the meat and sells it to family and friends.
“It’s not a business, more an expensive hobby,” he said.
Richard doesn’t expect Daisy to be big enough to go to slaughter until February or March next year and will probably be sold as hogget, an older lamb with richer, darker meat.
Richard also has a use for the sheep’s wool too – linings for the hanging baskets which adorn Upper Hopton in summer as part of the award-winning Hopton in Bloom community effort.