He’s smaller than a daffodil but Titch the newborn lamb is already big news.
Weighing in at less tham 815 grammes and only seven inches high, he is believed to be the world’s smallest lamb.
Farmers in Durham believed their premature new arrival weighing 2lbs had stolen the title from one born 0.2lbs lighter in April last year.
But Titch, who arrived in Fosdyke Bridge a week ago, was still tinier than them both even at four days old.
Belinda Needham, who runs a smallholding with her husband, James, said she hadn’t even thought of weighing Titch until she read about the Durham lamb.
She said: “We couldn’t believe it when we weighed him and discovered he was lighter and could be the smallest lamb in the world.
“He was born at 11pm at night and his mother rejected him. We brought him indoors while he was still all wet and our two dogs immediately adopted him and cleaned him up.
“Now Titch thinks he has two mums and he follows them around everywhere.”
Titch, who is black and white and a Shetland rare breed, is being hand reared indoors.
Belinda said: “When his mother rejected him she had no milk anyway so he is being bottle fed.
“He was syringe fed at first as he was too small to use a lamb bottle. Now we are using a kitten bottle.
“Lambing is my favourite time of year but Titch is so adorable.”
The Needhams, who are currently renovating the house they inherited, run the smallholding as a hobby.
Their flock of sheep includes Lincoln Long Wools and Manx, as well as Shetland rare breeds – and there are more lambs on the way.
Titch will be registered as a Shetland rare breed pedigree and then look forward to a life as a pet.
Belinda said: “We do sell some of our stock for meat or breeding, but I can’t sell any I hand rear – I just get too attached to them.”
With this in mind it’s just as well the couple, who moved to Fosdyke Bridge five years ago, have “day jobs”.
Belinda (25) runs Patter Paws and is a pet sitter and dog walker and James (30) is a lorry mechanic.
When they have finished renovating the house, Belinda also hopes to open a boarding kennels. She said: “Rearing sheep is just a hobby but it certainly keeps us busy.”
When our photographer Tim Wilson went along to see Titch, Belinda said the lamb followed him around everywhere.
She said: “Titch was a little star and loved all of the attention. He was exhausted when Tim left.”