Last week I ordered more raddle marker because I had run out. Raddle marker is a powder that comes in different colors. It gets mixed with mineral oil or vegetable oil to make a paste which is then smeared on the ram's chest. The idea is when the ram mounts a ewe for breeding, a color transfer occurs and that indicates that a ewe has been bred. Supposedly. The ewe's cycle every 16 days so if we change colors then and a ewe gets colored again, that means she didn't "catch" (get pregnant) that first time. We continue the cycle until the ewes don't get marked again. Hopefully then that means they are pregnant.
I also ordered a ram shield. This is a leather device that goes over the ram's head and blocks his forward vision. He can still see to the side, but not to the front, thus making it almost impossible for him to head butt, or ram the other sheep. He can still do everything he's supposed to do, just not ram. I didn't have a problem with him last year, but this year he's a little older, he's an experienced breeder now, and he apparently is feeling the need to show his dominance.
For some reason he particularly is taking it out on Baby. Maybe Perry is prejudiced. Baby is the only black faced ewe we have. The others are all white. Baby may be one of the largest ewes, but she is also one of the most human friendly, eagerly running up to anyone for a scratch behind the ears or hopefully, a handful of grain. When I saw him continuously after poor Baby, and she was actually gimping around the next day, I knew I had to do something drastic.
Baaad Boy Perry before...
...not so baaad now.
When I first put the device on him he seemed confused. The ewes all acted wierd towards him also. Several of them gave him a warning foot stomp.
Hey girls, it's still me, your favorite Lover Boy!
Looks like Baby is thinking "I still don't trust him."
It'll take some adjustments on both their parts. Perry did manage to get the contraption off some time last night. That just meant I had to tighten the straps a little.
I don't think he likes me very much right now. Frankly I don't care. I know of someone who bought a very expensive ram (she paid $5,000!!!) and when put to some ewes he killed one of them with the head butting.
We'll see how this works for now. I say, better to be safe than sorry.