Katahdin Ram Buddies

Cooler fall evenings are welcome in Missouri after we ended August with several weeks of extreme heat and September was pretty dry and hot too.  But cool weather brings a personality change in several of my Katahdin rams.  Usually, I can pasture several full-grown rams together throughout the summer and they enjoy being grazing buddies, often lying together in the shade.  But year after year in the fall, when evening temperatures dip into the low 50 degrees Fahrenheit, they start getting very pushy.  Push comes to shove and they can very quickly start irritating each other–sort of like kids sitting in the back seat of a car on a long driving vacation tha  poke each other and even complain that the other kid can’t look out the same window they are…When the shoving and head butting starts it is time to separate the rams or move them into closer quarters where they can’t back up and ram each other hard, which can damage internal organs or break a neck very quickly.

The picture I show here is of three of my rams that were starting to push and shove.  Tigger is the dark brown one, Dig is the bigger white one and Titanic is the smaller, younger white ram.  These 3 guys spent the summer eating together, but as breeding season gets closer marked by the cooler temperatures they needed to be penned closer together for their safety.  I feed them in 3 separate buckets, but they always want to eat out of one bucket.  Go figure–such boys…..But, at least they can’t back up and ram each other.  They have to suffice to just grunt and snort at each other.  Eventually, they settle into munching their hay and getting along.  Soon, they’ll be separated completely and running with their designated ewes.  But, even after they’re separated the safety rule on our farm is NEVER go into a ram lot without a border collie with you and/or a shepherd’s crook.  And, NEVER turn your back on a ram.  People’s back sides make good targets.  Being rammed can hurt a lot–I know from experience…..Kim

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