A lamb at Derby College’s land-based campus at the Broomfield Hall has been given a new lease of life thanks to the dedication and creativity of farm staff and agriculture students.
Farm Manager Adrian Oliver, who runs the working farm at the campus, found the lamb, which was born last summer, lying in a field in November - close to death and without the use of his two front legs.
Now, Adrian and his team have been able to get Broomie – as he has been named - back on his feet with the use of specially-designed splints. Medication has also caused the lamb’s fleece to fall out so he proudly wears a specially-adapted dog fleece to protect him from the cold.
Adrian explained: “The vet couldn’t work out why his front legs were so floppy and said that putting him to sleep would probably be the only prognosis.
“However, Broomie has a real fighting spirit and, although he was unable to stand, he was keen to eat and soon became more and more alert and noisy.
“I knew he had a will to live and decided that we needed to do everything we could to help him, literally, stand on his own feet.”
Adrian designed and made a pair of splints to straighten and support Broomie’s legs using two pipes and a cushion base.
“We put the splints on his legs for increasing periods of time and thankfully, after a few weeks, his legs grew stronger and he was able to stand and walk short distances without the splints.
“He is getting stronger every day and has now been integrated with the rest of the sheep and spring lambs.
“He has a really cheeky character – making sure that he gets to the best hay and greeting visitors in case they have any food for him!
“As if he has not faced enough challenges, the pain killers that he needed to take made his fleece fall out so to keep him warm, we have adapted a fleecy dog coat for him to wear.
“The other sheep were unsure of this at first but they have now accepted him as one of the flock and he is thoroughly enjoying life.
“Broomie’s next adventure will be to learn to walk on the halter. Once he can do this, he will become the farm mascot and attend open days and functions representing his fellow sheep at the farm.
“From a shaky start, Broomie definitely has a bright future and is already a firm favourite with agriculture students at the College.”