The Sweet Arrow ewes are lonely no more. This past weekend our newest member of the flock arrived. The head honcho, the creme de la creme, the macho nacho...right, right, you get it, our new ram came home this weekend. Can Too Sid Caesar (just Caesar for short) arrived on Sunday and by Monday morning he had jumped the fence to be with his new lovelies. Apparently he's not a long engagement type of guy. So the honeymoon has begun.
And begun it most definitely has. There is no wondering if this guy is doing his job that is for certain. Hubby says our ram last year was more mature and thus more gentlemanly and refined when it came to his duties which is why we weren't even sure if he'd done his job until our ewes began to show. Caesar however is as happy as a newly graduated 19 year old touring sorority row and the boy has no shame in showing it. We have a ewe who has scurs (small undeveloped horns) and when we got her, Hubby promptly & lovingly dubbed her "Horny" (boys never grow up I suppose) and it stuck. However, I'm beginning to wondering if we might need to rethink who gets that nick name. Needless to say, we should be busy come Spring.
Meanwhile, this past Spring our ewe Margaret gave birth to our single ram lamb, Thatcher. When he was born Hubby and I went back and forth on what Thatcher's role in our small flock would be. He came from a nice background and was only related to two of our flock, so we thought we might use him as our flock ram. Then we thought that maybe it would be better to wether him (remove his manhood, safely & harmlessly of course) and bring in an outside ram and keep Thatcher as his bunk mate for off-season. Sheep being a flock animal need company or they get very sad and lonely, especially rams. They tend to get mean and very ram-bunctious if they are kept by themselves. Even though Shetland's tend to be seasonal breeders (meaning they typically cycle only in certain, usually, cooler seasons) we figured we'd keep our new ram apart from the ewes after breeding season for various reasons and he'd need a companion, thus Thatcher the wether. However, because we were indecisive, we missed the window to safely, harmlessly, and cheaply, castrate our little man, so then came different decisions to make. Do we keep him, sell him, or eat him? Well all you who gasped at the word "eat him" can breath a sigh of relief, we kept him (for now) and he's very much alive.
Shetland rams typically come into puberty around 7 months so at around 6 months we separated Thatcher from Margaret and his sister Pi and split the flock into two. Since we had no other males/wethers to keep him company we picked a few of our ewes who were "statistically" less likely to be successfully bred, but who were not related to Thatcher, just in case. So they've been hanging out for the past few months. Thus we have two flocks right now, who after breeding season, will be, hopefully, happily reunited. I think I see a bit of jealousy in the eyes of the other ewes as they strain to catch a glimpse of the new hunk across the way.