Friday, November 25, 2011

Jealous Ram

Ironwood was selected to breed the girls this year and since he was put in with them he has developed some strange behaviors. We have discovered that he will chase the girls into the barn and then lay on the ramp to prevent them from escaping.

If/When the girls try to escape he stands up and begins snorting and posturing to try and intimidate them.

I don't think the girls are impressed, I know I wouldn't be. Ava has fully recovered from whatever was bothering her and is now healthy enough to run from Ironwood - the big bully!

Note little Alma's left horn, I think it was broken off in a butting match with Ironwood. She has been limping around some and I think she is sore from Ironwoods advances.

Whenever Sara approaches the sheep area Ironwood comes to the gate or fence line in attempts to frighten her away. Ironwood has tried to ram the Commander a few times as he was feeding them or bringing in water. It has gotten to the point where we have to bring a shepherds crook with us whenever we enter the gated area or barn.

It was getting so bad that I finally decided to open the back door to the barn so the girls could escape his bullying.

Now when the girls run out the back Ironwood gets so frustrated that he snorts and paws the ground before he goes to try and round them up again. I don't feel sorry for him at all. Killarney and Alder didn't act anything like this last year, is this normal?


  1. my past ram would select his girl and keep her solely to himself,he would not let her more then a few feet from him or any other girl around her.
    It was not nice.
    My new guy just does his job whenever with who ever,lol

  2. Good for you to make him think the girls are outsmarting him.

  3. With my two rams and two bucks I've had, it's all up to their personality - I had one buck who was quite assertive and it didn't always go over well with the ladies. I'm assuming this is his nature, when he's hormonal. Good idea to open the back door! I guess like human men, some rams have certain ways of approaching a female! Both my more aggressive ram and buck have been replaced with calmer boys, it all depends whether they are worth the trouble or not. Of course sometimes the trouble only lasts for a little while and then they are fine again, so that's easier to deal with. Hopefully he'll get them bred at least - my last billy was so aggressive with the ladies they all avoided him like the plague and he only got one of 6 does bred!

  4. Wow. What a jerk. I know nothing about rams, but I do know I sure wouldn't put up with this in a potential suitor for me! lol
    I'm very happy to read that Ava is fully recovered!

  5. Poor sounds like he has some serious control issues! We haven't had a ram act this aggressive with his ewes.

  6. Farmer - I do not like this type of behavior, unless things improve he is going to be on his way out.

    Michaele - Girls can always outsmart boys!

    Luckybunny - I am afraid that the girls are so afraid of him that they are going to avoid him like you stated. A clean-up ram will definitely be needed this year.

    Danni - I am happy to have Ava healthy again too. The ram is a brute and may be signing his ticket out of here.

    Shannon - Thank you for chiming in. You have a lot more experience with sheep than I do and I didn't think this behavior was normal.

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