Drought-stricken farmers use hand-knitted jumpers to keep lambs alive

Picture: Lamb Jumpers "Helping Our Farmers" - Facebook

Picture: Lamb Jumpers "Helping Our Farmers" - Facebook

Farmers across NSW are struggling to keep their animals alive due to tough drought conditions but there is one small way people can help.

Hand-made jumpers can help keep orphaned or abandoned lambs and calves warm during the cold winter months.

Camden Knitting Club has gotten on board to provide farmers across the state with some knitted lamb jumpers.

Harrington Park resident and knitting club member Doreen Norris said it was something small, but it made a big difference.

“A lot of farmers are stressed about how long this drought has been going and a lot of ewes are having twins for some reason so they are struggling to feed their babies,” she said.

“It’s up to the farmers to try and keep the lambs alive and warm.

“I think city people need to look after our farmers.”

Lambs and calves struggle to regulate their own body temperature like human children, so the jumpers provide comfort and warmth.

“They are very easy to make,” Ms Norris said. “Anyone who feels like knitting should get involved.”

Ms Norris grew up on a merino farm. She said she knew first-hand the struggle farmers went through.

“My daughter, Maria Knight, is married to a sheep farmer and she started the lamb jumper initiative to help other farmers in need,” she said.

Ms Knight lives in Coonabarabran. She said it was heart-warming that people in Camden wanted to support farmers across the state.

“Since we started the campaign last Thursday we have given out more than 300 coats and I have another 100 ready to go out to farmers this week,” she said.

“I had a call from a farmer the other day who was so overwhelmed that people cared enough to make something by hand for his lambs.

“Not only are you saving an animal’s life, you are also putting a smile on the face of a farmer and they could really use that right now.”

Spring Farm resident Candace King, who is Ms Knight’s niece, said people could help out in many ways.

“I’m terrible at knitting and even I can make these jumpers,” she said.

“They are super easy but people can also donate old dog jumpers or buy new dog jumpers for calves.

“You can also knit a beanie or some socks for a farmer if you don’t want to knit a lamb jumper.

“People are knitting, crocheting or sewing and there are a few patterns on the Lamb Jumpers “Helping Our Farmers” Facebook page.

“Any local farmers who needs some help can contact us through the Facebook page and we will get some jumpers to them.”

Residents can send jumpers to the Coonabarabran Times, 44 Dalgarno Street, Coonabarabran or contact the Lamb Jumpers “Helping Our Farmers” Facebook page for a local drop-off destination.