The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Stir Crazy Ram

June 13th, 2014 · No Comments · Posted in farming


If you raise your own livestock and care at all about planning pregnancies then at a certain point the boys have to be separated from the girls.

Our boy goat, Tigger, has the best of this arrangement. He gets to spend his days grazing with the sheep and his true love interest, Jersey heifer Emily. Our yearling ram isn’t so lucky. He got stuck with the two female goats, Dolly and her daughter Tanner. Dolly doesn’t like sheep much. So “together” may be a bit of a stretch where these three are concerned. Eventually, Buddy, who’s a bit of an oddball even on a good day, made his displeasure known by butting the plastic electric fencing with his head. Since the goats never try to escape, I had not electrified the fence. Buddy eventually dislodged one of the fence posts and ducked under the netting to freedom.

I found him grazing nonchalantly nearby. To teach him a lesson, we loaded him in the back of the pickup and dropped him off in the permanent paddock where he’d be all on his lonesome until we decided what to do next. Well, that worked for a while. Buddy wandered around the paddock, where the grass was growing lush and tall. When the sun got too hot, he’d duck into the walk-in shelter and lie in the shade. All seemed to be going well until Buddy apparently went a little stir crazy, longing to be part of the herd again.

Lately, instead of grazing what he mostly does is pace in circles in one corner of the paddock, testing one of the gates and churning the area into a mud pit. He bleats and paces until he gets tired of it–or really hungry–then wanders off to graze a little before resuming his crazy circling. Buddy used to be really skittish. He wouldn’t let you near him. But now he lets me scratch his head and stroke his chin as I lean over the fence. I suppose even a little human companionship seems like a reasonable substitute in his condition.

We are gradually moving the goats in Buddy’s direction. Once they arrive at the paddock, we’ll give him another chance at playing nice inside the temporary fencing. But that means I’ll have to run wires to turn the electricity back on. A bit of a pain in the butt and a real annoyance considering the work involved for just one sheep.

Eventually, Buddy’s time will come. In the fall, he’ll move back in with the other sheep to do the job he was meant to do. And he’ll be able to overwinter with them several months till it comes time to lamb.

I’m guessing he won’t be complaining then.

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