It’s that time of year. Breeding season is over. Hopefully all 5 ewes are bred now. It’s time to separate the boys and give the girls some space until after all of the lambs have arrived.
This all sounds easier than it is, though.
The rams have been content up until now in their breeding groups, but reintroducing them is truly that. They have forgotten that they once got along, happily grazing all together on that nice late summer pasture. They all smell differently to one another and look a bit different. They smell like other ewes, too, which is most confusing.
So the rams are now squeezed into a small area for a day or so where they can smell each other and re-establish dominance and submissiveness, whichever the case may be. The confinement has a purpose. They are in too small an area to get a running start at each other, so their butting of one another carries a bit less force. This day of reuniting always makes me a bit nervous and makes me wish we could wrap them all in bubble wrap, but like so many other unpleasantries of nature, this all must go on (hopefully not to the point of anyone drawing blood!) In a day or so they’ll be like old mates, sidling up to the hay feeder. Until then, we’ll be keeping a close eye on them and keeping them distracted with all-they-can eat hay!