Wiltshire

Wiltshire lamb born without a fleece saved from the chop

Sally-Ann Fisher and Skippy
Image caption A jacket was tailor-made for the lamb using clumps of fleece "fashioned around him"

A lamb born without a fleece is to be spared the chop.

Skippy, nicknamed because of his resemblance to a kangaroo, was born fleeceless on a farm at Chilton Foliat in Wiltshire last week.

Rejected by its mother, the bald newborn has had to be bottle fed and kept warm in a fluffy fashioned fleece.

Sally-Ann Fisher, who is hand-rearing Skippy, said: "We felt a bit sheepish about his intended career so he's going into grassland management instead."

Ms Fisher, who farms with her partner near Ramsbury, said it had been a "bonkers week" after news of Skippy hit the headlines.

However, despite being born with "everything against him" the 12-day-old lamb was a "survivor", she said.

Image caption Skippy the lamb is to become the "lead sheep" for the farm's flock of ewes

"We've had a change of heart about Skippy's intended career in the food industry," she said.

"Instead he's going into grassland management and will also be a lead sheep for our flocks of ewes.

"Years ago shepherds used to get a hand-reared male lamb and put a bell around it and it was much easier to bring the flocks off the fells - so he's going to have a similar role."

She added that Skippy was "ewe-phoric about the news".

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