Since the arrival of the ewes in June, we have been talking about acquiring a ram to help complete our “starter flock”, and were fortunate to hear of Luke, a 3 year-old Dorset ram who was looking for a good home and a flock of his own. Mark and his dad Peter delivered Luke to us just over a week ago; having been raised as a 4-H ram means his personality is quite different from the young but ever-curious ewe lambs, but he seems to be settling in well, particularly if he is within view of the action. He shows an eagerness to join the ewes, but is also content to have any of us stand in as his flock.
Despite his desire for constant companionship, Luke is being kept separate from the ewes while he settles in (and so that we don’t end up with New Year’s lambs!). He’s getting used to his indoor pen, and now seems happy to settle down for the night and keep an eye on the greenhouse as the day starts up again. During the day he’s been tethered on various spots around the lawn, calling out to us as we pass, enjoying our company if we’re working near by, and conveniently helping with the lawn mowing and fertilizing. Luke has been quite compliant on his travels around the farm and in and out of the barn, and despite Rupert’s ideas about proper ram etiquette, I think he actually enjoys having a ram to lead (even with his stylish baby-blue halter).
Although both Hazel and Pedro show more interest in the cattle then the ewes, Luke seems to have captured their interest (perhaps mostly out of jealousy). For his part, Luke seems oblivious to Hazel, but quite intrigued by Pedro…maybe Tiny, the barn cat, has been hanging out with Luke at night.
Hazel doesn’t make eye contact with Luke when he’s grazing, but as soon as he settles down for a nap or some cud chewing, she settles in beside him…maybe she’d make a good guard dog after all…
…if only she could stay awake!
His personality will undoubtably get in the way somewhat during breeding season, but for now Luke is making his docile but sociable presence known…and we’re happy to have him join the menagerie. hj