Sheep are pregnant for 5 months so most people put their ram out with their ewes in the fall, to have lambs that are ready to sell in the spring. Our sheep are mostly pets for pasture control but we do have to feed them in the winter, to offset this cost we get a ram to produce lambs for sale.
I do not want to lamb in Janurary again as the last go-around was far too cold, so we planned for a March lamb crop instead and after some struggles found a nice ram for our small flock of sheep on our little hobby farm.
Since we do not raise sheep for wool, and have found that hair sheep are much easier to keep, we specifically were looking for a hair sheep breed, and found one that was part Katahdin, part Dorper. He is a young ram so will still grow, but is mature enough to get the job done now.
When we arrived at our farm it was night time. I called the other sheep over to the barn area so that he would not be wandering around alone in the dark. As sheep enter there estrus cycle in the fall I am sure that some of the ewes were probably in heat, I am sure that night was chaos, as the ram was chasing the ewes, and ewes were curious of the newcomer but did not like being chased.
The donkey and llama were interested as well and I could see that both were trying to sniff the new guy who was intent on getting away from the larger animals.
In the morning I found everyone grazing on the hill side, the ram was with the flock but not quite part of the flock. At one point the ewes seemed to he hiding behind Crystal, the guard llama, with the ram unable to determine how to get to them.
Anyone who knows llamas will note Crystal’s watchful look as she is not too sure of why the new guy is chasing her little buddies.
After a few days everything worked out and the ram became a part of the flock, and we can expect cute little lambs early in March of 2012.
You can follow along on our Sheep Blog, Baaramewesheep.
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