Farm | Our First Ram
Homestead's First Ram
It happened, I feel like I'm starting to say that A LOT. Yesterday our first ram came home. Everyone meet Ramsey's, clever I know, you can thank Matt for that one.
It's taken me months of research to develop and confirm what type of breeding program I want to start here at the farm. For awhile I was leaning towards cross-breeding (breeding one breed of sheep to another breed of sheep), but after significant research I wasn't completely satisfied with this approach. I'm not saying I won't change my mind but I've fallen in love with our North Country Cheviots, so why mess with a good thing?
Our cheviots are known for their good mothering, hardiness and they thrive in our hilly terrain. As a beginning shepherd these are all qualities I can greatly appreciate. Let's be honest I don't need more work come lambing season and this year the ewes did an outstanding job all by themselves.
So, in June I chose to pursue a registered NCC ram from a local, reputable breeder. Instead of getting a first-year ram lamb I decided (heeding advice from the breeder) to get a more 'experienced' and proven ram. Ramsey's is a masculine ram who's just over four years old and has done his job quite well for his previous flock. I anticipate he'll do a fine job keeping our ewes company and keep our flock growing.
I'm a little anxious about having a ram around the farm, I've spent too much time Googling 'keeping a ram' I think. Google is king of good horror stories... It's obviously a new experience for me and I have a lot to learn and I'm really hoping to learn most things the easy way. I'll have to learn how to handle him properly (or Matt will have to learn), how to introduce him to the flock and I'm sure a million other things. However, I have one thing already in my favor, he's shy. Being shy is a very GOOD thing, I have less anxiety about him taking me down since he'd rather not be near me at all.
I'm hoping to keep him calm and happy in his current bachelor pad until November, wish me luck and that I don't end up with one of Google's finest stories...