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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

We put a borrowed dorper ram in with our 5 katahdin ewes yesterday and all was going well... he was getting his job done :)
But today I noticed he is being a little rough with three of the ewes! he is chasing them a bit and bunting them on the side with his head.

Is this aggression or part of the mating behaviour? this is our first round and I wasn't quite expecting that. He is being aggressive mostly with the ewe who I believe is already a month or so pregnant (Pre-bred).

should I be concerned...or totally normal?

Thanks for the help!
 

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Just living Life
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Not a good thing, he can cause the ewe to abort. I would pull any he is head butting, out.... put them some place were he can not ram them any more....
 

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I have a ram that will push the ewes off their feed all the time. Still manages to be a decent sire, but if I use him again I may tie him up during feeding time with his own bucket.
 

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I've noticed when I put a ram in with my ewes the first time there is a bit of this kind of action, especially if the ram isn't experienced. Sort putting them in their place kind of action. It usually goes away after a couple of days.
 

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STILL not Alice
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Since my ram has been a little too aggressive of late (toward me, actually), I'm going to follow a friend's suggestion and separate him from the ewes, bringing them to him and then bringing the girls back to the Ewe Side of the Fence. (this may make me feel like an Ovine Procurer....)
 

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sheep & antenna farming
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Pony, after he's done breeding your ewes this fall, he needs to take a trip to freezer camp. Then get a ram lamb next summer and hopefully he will last for several years without getting too pushy.

Stay safe. We went through this with our last junior ram. One breeding season and he took his final trailer ride. We just replaced him with a nice ram lamb. The senior ram is still here and has always been respectful of humans, dogs, and ewes. He will be looking for a new farm and unrelated ewes after we are done with him this fall.

Peg
 

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STILL not Alice
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Peg, do you think it's possible to retrain him?

Part of the issue is that, when he got out of line, I conked him on the coconut (seen as a challenge?) instead of bopping him in the beezer (causing him pain and a chance to rethink his choices).

Anyway, that's how it was posited to me.

I'd like to keep him if possible, but if he truly is dangerous to me (he never challenges Nick), then I can stay away from him until he takes what you so poetically call "his final trailer ride."
 

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sheep & antenna farming
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Pony, I don't know about the retraining him to respect you and not be dangerous. He might just wait until you were distracted and get you from behind.

Could you keep a ram lamb from the next group of lambs? Stay safe.

Peg
 

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STILL not Alice
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We're going to leave him in the fenced-off area with the ewes until they're settled. Nick will deal with any "going into the pen" chores, and we'll sell him on Craig's List (with due warning) or ship him off to the auction next week.

I do appreciate your warnings. Ordinarily, we don't keep aggressive animals. Don't know how/why I developed a blind spot for this one.
 
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