Breeding Season is an exciting time of the year – anticipation of what’s to come and hope for the future. Once all of the groups are decided upon and sorted, the excitement quickly fades… Chore time is doubled/tripled as I wheel the wheelbarrow from pasture to pasture doling out the food to my screaming adoring fans.
The groups have been together for 5 weeks now and most everyone has been bred, so I decided to pull the rams and put all of the ewes back together. This was also in anticipation of being gone this weekend, I wanted to make chore time easier for my husband. I also noticed that a couple of the boys were getting bored and restless because all of their ewes were bred.
Not naming names, but one in particular was very naughty yesterday morning…
I put Junior and his girls in the barn because I knew I could walk through there with hay and not have to worry about him. Unfortunately, he took his frustrations our on the poor gates and lambing jugs. I was not happy and I told him as much!
We sorted the rams off and put their halters on and into the small pen they went. This is my absolute least favorite thing about owning sheep and using multiple rams. If we were to simply turn them all out together in a pasture, then we would run the risk of one of them getting seriously hurt. So, we put them in a very small pen, one tied in each corner to prevent them from ramming and hooking each other with their horns.
They stay this way for about 24 hours. We then turn them out with several piles of really yummy alfalfa, in hopes that the food will be more enticing than causing each other bodily harm. We then stand back and hold our breath and hope all is well. We are at the ready with Kate to herd them back into the pen if it doesn’t work and we try again in another 24 hours. Hopefully they behave themselves tonight.
Julian is the lucky one at the moment because we are using him as a clean-up ram, which means he will hopefully breed any of the ewes that did not get bred the first time around.
He has proven to be quite the ladies man and it looks like a couple of the girls were saving themselves for him. He has been funny to watch – he is a wine ’em and dine ’em kind of guy.
The girls were happy to be reunited and could be heard most of the night catching each other up on what has happened in their part of the world for the last month.
Chore time was drastically reduced this morning, but we now have gates and fence to fix and 3 very unhappy boys. Hopefully all will be back to normal in a few days. I hope everyone behaves themselves while I am away!