Tough year for lambs leads to higher prices

Lambs are still being kept indoors at night at Pinchins Farm at Algarkirk. Photo: SG020413-122NG
Lambs are still being kept indoors at night at Pinchins Farm at Algarkirk. Photo: SG020413-122NG
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This idyllic scene of newborn lambs finding their legs in the warmth and safety of an indoor pen conceals the struggle that livestock farmers are having this year.

These are two of 53 lambs at Pinchins Farm at Algarkirk, 33 of them from the farm’s ewes and 20 cade lambs, or ‘spare’ third lambs from triplets that require bottle feeding.

They were born on a farm in the north of the county and are being hand reared by Henny and James Pinchin and their 12-year-old son Alex.

Henny says it’s been a “terrible year”, and says: “They are still coming in at night because it’s so cold out there, but a lot of people are losing lambs and the feed is getting very short because there is no grass growing.”

She considers herself fortunate in that the farm has plenty of hay and she is able to bring the lambs into the greenhouse where it is warm and dry.

But she says: “I should think lamb in general will be quite dear this year because of so many being lost. A lot of people are losing them because of the bad weather. Although it’s dry, it’s so cold and they are maybe not picking up as much goodness from the grass so they are really struggling.

“We are having to feed a lot more concentrate that we would normally.”

The lambs are a variety of traditional breeds mixed with commercial breeds to produce good meat for Pinchins Farm Shop.