Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ram Conundrum...

I love that word! Conundrum! I kinda rolls around in your mouth doesn't it?

OK, so I have a 'puzzle' if you will; I talked to a friend last night about this, but thought I would put it to all of you, my cyber friends.

I have two rams. Laz is four years old this year, Carmine is one. I havn't separated them from their ewes yet because of this paradoxical (yeah, I'm having fun :) problem!

Here is the poser;
If I put Carmine in with Laz, Laz will hurt (if not kill, maim or otherwise lambaste) Carmine. Carmine however, has this horrible aversion to being alone since the State Fair where they put him in a pen far away from other sheep. In short he is monophobic! Actually, I guess all sheep are, but he gets down right frantic when he is alone, starts obsessive compulsive behavior...

Back when I had three rams, and they were all about the same age/size it wasn’t a problem. After breeding I would make their pen smaller so they couldn't hurt each other, then a few days later I would let them have their commodious pen back. Because I have things like posts and old tires lying all over in their pen, they could never get a good go at each other and so never caused any more hurt than a broken scur.

My friend last night said I need three rams. Two will perpetually focus on one another and will batter each other unerringly until one falls down and doesn’t get up. Unfortunately, I don’t have another ram, I can’t even borrow one.

I am left with this; I can take two older ewes out and put them in a separate pen with Carmine, but only until they come close to lambing. Maybe by then I would have lambs old enough to be in with Carmine, but not likely...

Any suggestions? Solutions? Persiflage?

5 comments:

Julie said...

I don't necessarily think three rams is the answer. I had three rams for a short period but had to send two "down the road" because they wouldn't stop fighting--I mean I couldn't even expand the "crush pen" beyond just room enough for the three to lie down. Every time there was the least bit of extra space, those two would go at it. Poor Josias just tried to stay out of the way. The catch here was that the two fighters both had lovely sets of horns, and Josias is polled, so he could have been in very real danger had either of them turned on him. I had success with ram shields before and even tried that, but I couldn't get a good fit on the new ram (Josias and the other ram co-existed fairly well when the other ram wore a shield, even though the fit wasn't perfect and the other ram could bully Josias some). In the end I threw my hands in the air, sent them to the butcher, and saved the horns for a friend who makes shepherd's crooks.

I had a little wether who was going to go in the freezer this spring (he has an awesome fleece which would have made a lovely pelt), but instead he has become Josias' new buddy. Josias did push him around some in the beginning, but they were able to immediately go out in their paddock--no crush pen or anything like that. So if you have any wethers just "lying around" try putting one in with Carmine. If you don't have any on hand, plan to save one back when you wean.

So, for now you could try a shield on the larger ram--if he can't see forward he can't butt. They cost around $17 at Premier and seem to work pretty well on average sized rams. That could be your temporary measure until you can come up with a wether buddy for Carmine.

My two cents' worth anyway!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

You must be feeling better; no one with a cold can think up that many fun words!

I am strongly contemplating a wether buddy for Braveheart, too. Gotta work on the husband....

BTW, I nominated you for a "You Make My Day" award; come on over to my blog!

Kathy said...

I wanted to ask your permissin to list yyou on my blog as recommended blogs. (Sorry to bother you but Mom always said to ask first! LOL!)

Kathy said...

Sorry for all the typos...geez, I can't spell for anything this morning! Better have a 2nd cup of coffe, eh? :)

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

OK, so a wether it is. I have a white corrie ewe bred to my Laz, who has beautiful tunis wool btw; If she has a ram lamb, I will keep him. Tunis is too good to eat to wether one and not locker it ;-)

You have both made my day, my weekend, hell my month! Thank you!
I wish I would have started blogging a long time ago, I've made at least three new friends, can keep up with at least two friends that I normally only see once a year (and make plans with to dye the world MWAAAHHHAHAHAH!) I love this!