'Small but mighty': Lambing season gets underway at family-run farm
- Credit: Abi Shave
Spring has sprung at a family-run farm in Norfolk and lambing season brings hope of a better year to come.
The Little White Co, a "small but mighty" sheep farm in West Harling, is in the midst of one of the busiest times of year, as they work long days and through the night to make sure their ewes and newly-born lambs are safe and happy.
Olivia and Justin Shave and their two daughters, Jenna 23, and Abigail, 21, started their farming business in 2015, with hopes of building a better life together - despite having no experience behind them.
But only six years later, they have become an award-winning business, known for their quality produce, high-welfare and care for their animals.
Mrs Shave said: “It has been wonderful. It has gone really well so far. 12 ewes have now lambed and at the end we should have about 60 lambs.
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“It’s the pinnacle moment of your last year’s work.
“You only get out what you put in, and getting the condition right for the ewes, with the climate changes we are having and the ongoing challenges with land management, it’s goes to show how well you look after your livestock.
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“You want to see lot of happy lambs; we haven’t lost and we haven’t had to help too many. You can see how relaxed they, and so content."
The farm consists of three flocks with three different breeds, including Charollais, North England Mules and the Norfolk Horn rare breed.
And while Mr Shave is away running his own business, it’s the women who are left to run the farm and their farm shop - which will officially reopen on Tuesday April 13.
Abi Shave works full-time caring for their flocks after completing courses in agriculture and animal care and has been spending nearly 20 hours a day on the fields while lambing season is underway.
She said: “I absolutely love it. It’s certainly a proud moment when we see our home bred Norfolk’s having their first lambs successfully and doing really well.
“We are only small compared to some, but we do a lot to support the industry.
“Our work with rare breeds, animal welfare, sustainability but also women in agriculture.
“It’s a big thing and it’s not something that is talked about a lot. Farming is still known as a man’s world. My dad helps but he has his own business so we are basically a farm which is run by women.
Mrs Shave added: “To watch your children grow, and become independent women and strong minded in a predominately male environment, I’m just so proud.”