“Hey ShepherdPerson! Why are you always taking pictures of those crazy Soays? Why don’t you ever take pictures of us Shetlands? We’re the ones who grow the nice, fluffy fleeces!”
That’s the problem with being sane; they don’t get into crazy shenanigans, so they don’t make it to the blog as often as they should. I feel like they’re the middle children of the flock.
“But we’re so cute! We should get more attention! And more crunchies!”
Liam is definitely the cutest former breeding ram I’ve ever seen. He looks like a fluffy white pompom with legs and a face. He came down to the fence to see about maybe getting some crunchies, but Jeb stayed farther back. Duke (endlessly) patrols the fenceline this time of year, and Jeb prefers to stay out of Duke’s way. Far out of Duke’s way.
“Get away from this fence! All the crunchies are mine! All the girls are mine! Mine!”
Breeding season is going to start in November, but at this rate I think Duke may have a nervous breakdown or collapse from exhaustion by then. His pasturemates are definitely starting to lose patience with him.
“Did you see that, girls? Did you see me? I butted heads with Liam! I am magnificent! Barney, do you think the girls will love me now?”
“Yeah, yeah, Duke. I don’t think they’re even awake yet, but I’m sure they’re swooning over you.”
Despite the outward show of perpetual grumpy annoyance on Barney’s part and occasional homicidal urges on Duke’s part, I’m pretty sure they actually like each other (deep deep down inside somewhere) because the two of them tend to stay pretty close together and they both get upset if I separate them. Although Barney is usually happier if there’s a tree or a shelter he can quickly hide behind
if when Duke starts chasing him.
Duke may not be going in with the girls until November, but he’s been in rut for quite a while now, and rut takes its toll on everything from the fences to the poor wethers, to the ram himself. I’m not sure what Duke butted or got himself tangled in, but he carved a pretty nasty gouge out of his left horn sometime last night or early this morning.
At first I thought it was just berry juice or something; he’s always rubbing his horns against these purple weeds and getting reddish purple stains all over them, but when he came up to the fence there’s definitely a scrape in the horn.
Sigh. Keeping an intact ram is so much fun. Every fall I decide it’s not worth it and every spring the lambs are so cute I change my mind. To paraphrase the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, “That’s why all lambs should be ewes!”
The Shetlands deserve a lot of
credit crunchies for sharing a field with our resident ladies’ man.