Ah to see the ram going about his flock, swaggering amongst the fifty or so females that all belong to him, a pincacle of manliness. Well I guess that’s a bit far from the truth as he’s more like a docile sloth, chewing on the grass and more interested in the grub than making a dash for the nearest female. Until one comes into heat.
Still, I think his masculinity is quite important to him deep down and that’s why I can hear him screaming ‘not in front of the ladies’ as I pick him up (or try at least) and pin him down on his rump whilst the females look on .
Fair dues to our ram (or one of); he’s a quiet creature who does what he’s told (having been spoilt with cake since we had him) and he does his job well. Last of he fertilised no less than thirty females in one week. The flock was almost finished in that week alone.
Today we change his crayon (not that of the crayola kind; somehow I couldn’t picture him in nursery school drawing pictures of trees and houses. “What’s that you’ve drawn?” “It’s a human miss.”). No, these are crayon markers we attach to the chest so when he mounts the female we can see who’s going to have a lamb and who hasn’t. And that’s the reason why I’m currently holding down a very heavy sixty or seventy kilo ram.
Once we bought three rams and did such a task, attaching a crayon to ech. These were pedigree, the finest of the fine, recently bought to impregnate the flock. However, these were also three very confused rams. As they were eager to please and more than a slight bit impatient, we had decided to put them into the fields with the ewes the day after buying. We expected that they would complete the job ahead in no time and placed them in a small meadow for the night, ready to release them and let them spring fourth in the morning. Imagine the shock when dawn’s early light brought us the sight of three rams each with a mark on their rump.
Had we bought three gay rams? Did they prefer to were spandex trousers and decorate themselves with a earring in the left ear? Or perhaps they painted their hooves red and put a little eye liner on to impress the other rams…
Thankfully they had just been, enthusiastic, some would say too enthusiastic, and they set about their real task straight away.