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VIDEO: Tiny lamb Dot just loves to snuggle up in a sock


Tiny Dot the lamb just loves snuggling up in a sock, a boot or even a cosy pocket.

Born on a freezing Easter Sunday morning at Willow Lea Farm, in Willey, near Lutterworth, she was the smallest of three triplets, and was, sadly, the only one to survive.

Weighing in at only 700g – just over 1.5lbs – the pint-sized pedigree ball of wool was so small and weak she could not reach her mother's udder and has had to be hand-reared by owner Cathy Cassie.

Cathy said: "Because she was so small and it was bitterly cold we had to act fast to keep her warm and fed. We took her into our home and wrapped her in a sock. She now sleeps in a box next to a radiator.

"When I am out on the farm I keep her snug in a pocket of a jacket."

Dot, or Knightly Dot to give her pedigree name, is a North Ronaldsay lamb, an endangered breed from the Orkney islands, off the north of Scotland.

There are about 3,700 of the small, stocky animals on the islands, where they live on the beaches and feed for most of the year on seaweed.

Dot is small even by the breed's standards, weighing about half what she should have been when born.

However, after a couple of days of bottle-feeding by Cathy and her family, she has put on 100g. Once Dot has gained enough weight and strength, she will be allowed out on to the farm to join the other lambs.

Cathy said: "Dot was the only one of the triplets to survive. We took her away from her mother to feed her, but now her mother is no longer interested in her.

"That means Dot is having regular bottle feeds. She is finding her feet, wagging her tail and is beginning to explore the farm."

Cathy, 44, and husband, Darren, 40, are leading lights in the North Ronaldsay Fellowship, a nationwide group of breeders, having kept the breed for 18 years.

Cathy said: "They are an endangered breed but their wool is prized by spinners because it is soft and durable."

A small 50g ball of North Ronaldsay wool sells for £6.

"There is also a niche market for their delicious meat, particularly in London, which is popular because of the flavour given by their diet and the fact they take longer to mature than other breeds," said Cathy.

Dot has now become one of the family. "There is no possibility she will go for meat," said Cathy. "We will keep her for her wool and breed her."

Children Cameron, 13, and Eleanor, 10, love the latest addition to the household.

Eleanor said: "She is so lovely, I love playing with her. She is so small, I love to cuddle her. She also walks funny, like she is on stilts."

VIDEO: Tiny lamb Dot just loves to  snuggle up in a sock

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