Lonards of Bathurst hand-feeding lambs

FOSTERING LAMBS: Christine and Kye Lonard feeding one-week-old lamb Bear. On Saturday, kids can help hand feed Bear at Bedwell's Feed Barn.

FOSTERING LAMBS: Christine and Kye Lonard feeding one-week-old lamb Bear. On Saturday, kids can help hand feed Bear at Bedwell's Feed Barn.

ONE family is doing their bit to help drought-affected animals by fostering baby lambs abandoned by their mum and hand rearing them until they are strong enough to survive on their own.

Warren Lonard, his wife Christine and their grandson Kye have three “foster lambs” at the moment, but in the past have cared for up to five at a time.

Mr Lonard said the current drought conditions mean the lambs, abandoned by their mothers for any of a number of reasons, would simply die in the paddock if it weren’t for their intervention.

“The lambs might be too little, or sick, or bunted by their mother. Without our help they would just be left to die,” he said.

As animal lovers, the Lonards said this was something they could do not only for the lambs, but to help drought-affected farmers.

Mr Lonard said farmers just don’t have the capacity or funds to do this in the midst of the drought.

He said the lambs require around-the-clock feeding for the first few days of their lives.

“You have to teach them to suckle on a bottle, and you’re feeding them every hour for the first three or four days,” he said.

After three to four months, the lambs are strong enough to fend for themselves, and are returned to the mob.

On Saturday, the Lonards will have their foster lambs at Bedwells Feed Barn on the Vale Road from 9.30 until 11.30am, and everyone is welcome to come and have a pat and help hand-feed the lambs.