Tuesday, March 9, 2010

update on BFls and Shetland rams

Yesterday afternoon Nubia, the prolapsed ewe was allowing her lambs to nurse without me in the pen! While this is great news, I don't believe she actually LIKES them, but has come to accept the fact that to make her udder feel better and not so tight, they must nurse it. Each lamb is always found at his official 'spigot' every time I come to the barn to check on them, and she is chewing her cud and standing for them. When she decides that that is enough she just starts walking, with no regard to the lambs safety or whereabouts, but again, this is still progress.

The first ewe that had the ewe lamb die, she is accepting her ram lamb enough to let him lay on her back, and next to her at night now, but still does not call for him. This could be jsut because I'm not out there all the time, or she has had no need to do it. Time will tell. She'll be jugged until the other new borns are ready to be put in a nursery pen, so at least a few more days for the white lambs from Morovia. the further between terrible lambing experiences the more forgiving I get, but it still is ripe in my mind.

I still hate Shetland rams! Tonight, after 24 hours of being squeezed with the polled boys, a yearling ram, Veni, completely knocked the texel Champ over like a bowling pin and he rolled completely over back on to his feet. I almost didn't believe it. The Shetlands know they are less than a 1/3 of the size of the polled boys so they go in under the rib cage and continually bash them, sometimes tag teaming from both sides. I can't babysit all the time, but when I'm there I am quick to flip the Shetland boys over and tell them what for. ugh. The polled boys look a bit stressed so Friday can't come soon enough! Hopefully by then the ram paddock wno't be flooded with the spring thaw/melt that we have going on. The sooner the better for these boys. I guess I do need to run the polled boys seperately. All year. Until then they'll be squeezed again for the night. You'd think breeding season was 5 months ago or something?

That's the update for now!

4 comments:

Cynthia said...

Having had two of my best longwools killed by Shetlands I would say, yes, separate them Garrett. It isn't that the longwools are incapable of thoroughly thrashing other sheep and humans, it just seems that they aren't that invested in doing so with any regularity (which, by the way, is the same hormonal thing that gets in the way of their mothering). Consider the Shetland and, hum, those Napoleon horns. OUCH. My polled Shetland rams are not nearly as aggressive as the horned Shetlands but still, Shetland boys DO love to shake it up.

If sheep could be the ages of human development I have come to see the longwools as human 9 year olds; curious, loving contact and just emerging into conversation. Shetlands are 11 years old; coming into their own without any sense of others needs and uncertain if they care.

Brenda Lelli said...

what about sacrificing a section of hog panel or something, to divide the rams up, and give the Blues & Texel some peace from the little horned 'buggers'? I know you will end up with a piece of scrap metal, but hopefully you'll ward off a possible injury or death as a result.

Michelle said...

Something I read somewhere really made sense to me. The pugnaciousness of Shetland rams and the terrific mothering ability of Shetland ewes are all part of the same genetic package, that of the primitive "survivor." Makes me feel a little better when the rams are being jerks anyway....

Potosi Sheep Farm said...

For years I bred my Shetlands with Shetland ram lambs then ate them right after breeding season. Last year, I kept 2 rams over the winter. They were horrible with the BFL rams, killing one. I hope Ruben has a sunny Shetland ram disposition...if there is such a thing!

Tentative breeding groups - updated 10.17.17

The four rams I am using this fall, are all rams I offered for sale, with the intent to use them for breeding and then move them on to new h...