Sunday, April 29, 2012

The ram goes out

Over the last 10 years of living off the land we have grown accustomed to the logical order of things. As the days grow shorter and the evenings grow cooler we now recognise that it is time to put the ram out. It's been almost a year since we farewelled our last ram so it is obviously time to borrow a new one.

We've spent the last month 'flushing' our ewes. This is where the ewes (female sheep) are fed on a steadily increasing ration in the weeks leading up to what is known as the 'ram date'. It's a tried and true technique that is supposed to cause multi-ovulation. I guess it works. We always seem to have good lambing rates.

We followed the same arrangement as we did last year. Our neighbour Dave borrowed an end-of-the-line ram from a real farmer. We picked up his ewes and the ram and brought them back to our place for a few months.

The new ram looks like quite a character. He looks part Suffolk, with a characteristic black face and solid build. We'll hopefully resist giving him a name as we have previously. The new guy looks more fertile than Lego and calmer than Sid. Within minutes he was chasing our well-conditioned ewes around the paddock like some sort of woolly teenager, chin forward and ears back.

I think it's going to work out.

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