Holiday playmates keep boy busy

Jimmy Paterson, of Waikaka Station, is surrounded by some of the 200 lambs he is helping to rear....
Jimmy Paterson, of Waikaka Station, is surrounded by some of the 200 lambs he is helping to rear. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
School may have been out for two weeks’ holiday but Jimmy Paterson still had plenty of playmates — lambs to be precise.

About 200 of them.

The 6-year-old is helping his mother, Rebecca Paterson, care for the lambs at Waikaka Station where they live.

Jimmy said the lambs were picked up in the paddock and brought into the shed.

"They come here because they’ve lost their mum."

The lambs could be sick or for some reason had become separated from their mother.

"Sometimes [the mothers] do die," Jimmy said.

"It’s not that common though," Mrs Paterson said.

"We don’t have many in here because mum died."

The lambs were fed by an automatic milk mixing machine which had 16 teats.

Jimmy enjoyed spending time with the lambs.

"They come to me and play with me sometimes,’’ he said.

"You get to pat them."

He and his father, Bill Paterson, had made a seesaw for the lambs.

"The lambs just love going up it and down it."

One important job Jimmy had was looking for poisonous plants, including foxgloves, in the paddock.

"I found a foxglove around in a different paddock ’cause [the lambs] are going into that paddock today.

"For some reason they are attracted to foxgloves."

The lambs were Texels and Romneys. Jimmy’s favourite were the Texels.

"Because they’re bossiest."

Jimmy had named some of the lambs after four of the Spice Girls band members.

Jimmy was training Buck, a Texel Romney cross lamb, ready for the Waikaka School pet day.

"I lead him all around the garden."

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