Ram on the Lamb
In August we bought a ten month old Dorper ram to begin breeding ewes in November.
Two weeks later he disappeared.
Put a notice on the radio.
Ten days later our friend, Ron called, "Your ram is heading up the road by my place. We’ve got ewes in the barnyard, that should get his attention."
As we pulled up to Ron's place a few minutes later. He started shaking his head, "Sorry, he ran past and didn't even glance at the ewes." Ron lives about four miles from us.
We searched the area.
We talked with Ron's neighbors.
We were puzzled.
For the next five weeks there was no word on the ram.
During the time he was gone decided that if we got him back we’d sell him, and not to use him for breeding. We thought he might be unsuitable or lead our ewes away from the farm.
Then early one morning our friend David called, "Hey, I spotted your Ram this morning."
He started laughing, "He's about 50 yards away, standing outside your gate."
That afternoon I ran into a wise friend and retired veterinarian, Merle. "Congratulations, I heard you got your ram back." News travels fast in a small town.
I shared our concerns about keeping the ram.
Merle asked if the ram came from a large farm.
He did, the breeder had about 1000 head.
Merle smiled, "He's young and he got bullied. He wasn't dominant in the herd and he's conditioned to avoid confrontation. Based on his age he's never bred and doesn't know what he's here for."
Merle had the cure, "Take one of your older gentle ewes and put them together. He'll figure it out."
I followed instructions.
Three minutes later the ram understood his calling. He's not interested in leaving now, he’s got other things on his mind.
This spring his first crop of lambs will be here.