Newborn lambs herald spring, bring new life to villages

Published 08.03.2018 21:58

Livestock breeders in Hakkari feed newborn lambs, whose births often signal the arrival of spring, with baby bottles.

Sheep start to give birth in the villages starting in mid-February every year, increasing the working hours of livestock breeders.

The breeders, who work hard to care for their animals through the difficult village winters in Hakkari, are stretched even further with the lambs.

Striving to protect the newborn lambs from cold weather and diseases, breeders feed their lambs separately in the barn.

When the mother's milk runs low, farmers fill bottles with sheep or cow's milk to feed the lambs and keep them healthy.

Arafat Çiftçi, a stockbreeder from Bay village, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that newborn lambs are very challenging and create a lot of extra work on the farms.

Noting that livestock is their source of livelihood in the village, Çiftçi said some families have 20-30 sheep and some have more, stressing that they sometimes have difficulty feeding the animals because there is little grass in the area. "In February, our sheep start to give birth. We wake up early in the morning and start working. We get tired, but we try to power through with the lambs," he continued. "Some lambs' mothers do not have milk. Lambs are costly and very difficult to feed. We look after them like babies."

Alaattin Çiftçi, on the other hand, said that living in the village is difficult but beautiful.

Çiftçi said after they feed the sheep with grass in the morning, they let the lambs out to explore. "We spend our lives among sheep. Because lambs are more sensitive, women usually look after them," Çiftçi said. "We often supplement milk. We hand feed them and give them a lot of attention. Our children also grow up with them."

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