Baaaa, how sweet: Jess the sheepdog feeds an orphaned lamb milk from a bottle held in her mouth on a farm in Devon
Pet rescue: Owner Louise Moorhouse decided to see if Jess had the patience to feed the lambs with a bottle.And after very little practice, Jess now has a job to put the bottle down
Even to a hungry young lamb, this doesn’t look much like mum. But when teatime strikes and you’re gasping with thirst, who cares?
Three times a day, rain or shine, Jess the springer spaniel goes out on her milk round – to feed orphaned lambs from a bottle she carries in her mouth.
Louise Moorhouse, who has 270 sheep on her 180-acre farm, can’t imagine managing without Jess.
‘It’s like having an extra pair of hands,’ she said yesterday.
‘She’s been doing it ever since she was a puppy. I taught her to hold the milk bottle in her mouth and she did the rest. It’s very funny when she runs across the field gripping the bottle.’
The farm, near Exeter, is linked to the Devon Wildlife Trust and specialises in rare-breed sheep. Ten-year-old Jess is currently ‘mother’ to four Dorset Horn lambs which could not be fed by their own mothers. And a young apprentice – Lily the cocker spaniel – is already in training for the day when Jess hangs up her bottle.