what to do with my ram?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by ajaxlucy, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,799
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    We got a ram-lamb last fall and he did his job breeding my ewes, but now we're thinking of getting rid of him. He has taken to trying to knock down everything from fenceposts to the walls of the chicken coop to the sides of the sheep pen. He's never been aggressive, but we're tired of even good-natured destruction. So, if we send him to freezer camp, what should we ask them to do? At 1-1/2 years old, is he still young enough for tasty cuts, or should we just ask for a lot of ground meat? He's a Shetland, if that makes a difference. Also (this is probably a stupid question, sorry) do all rams do this? He's been in with the ewes and lambs all summer, so it's not because he's isolated. Thanks for your help. Phyllis
     
  2. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,108
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Location:
    Washington State
    Not sure if you recall my Walter issues...the yearling icelandic I had. He got a bit aggressive for such a young guy towards me, so we sent him to freezer camp. I think the age of your guy shouldn't be a huge issue. I know the icelandics are a bit slower to mature (at least in my limited experience) than some of the other meat types, I suspect that shetlands would be about the same?

    Anyway, if it were me, I'd still get the good cuts.
     

  3. pasotami

    pasotami Hangin out at the barn!

    Messages:
    826
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Location:
    Upper East Tennessee
    I own 3 rams and NO they all do not act that way. None of mine tear up stuff but they do look like Dodge commericals at times...
    Your ram will be a tasty table treat at his age. I've butchered good cuts up to 2 years old.
     
  4. jlo

    jlo Active Member

    Messages:
    44
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    We only had this problem with one of the above ground units on our septic system which is out in the middle of one of our fields (long story). Our ram was charging it and it was getting dented up and cracked. We ended up fencing it off so he couldn't get to it. We think this was because the unit makes a constant low buzzing sound. You can't even hear it from the fenceline, only once you get in the field close up on it. But I think he didn't like it.

    When we've had to separate him from the ladies during or just before breeding season, we've had him abuse fence lines and gates (not really aggressively, just trying to push through to get back with his ladies) but installing a hot line about nose height for the first week he's in a separate pen put a stop to it. Now he'll pace the fenceline, but he won't test it.

    Do you seen any underlying reason for his behavior that you could solve before you have to send him up the road? If he's a good ram, that is.
     
  5. canadianmandy

    canadianmandy Certified Animallover!

    Messages:
    301
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    we have to keep Jacob tied.. he is a bottle baby gone wrong (not our bottle baby but the ppl who had him b4 us) he is aggressive to ppl and any object handy. he is nice when you are facing him but if you turn your back your in for a world or hurt. when he is in the sheep pen I take grain and call him then grab his collar and make him heel as I walk that away I know where is horns are. he has really calmed down since we got him but b/c it is freakishly cool he is getting aggressive again. we like to put him near dead trees in hopes his butting will do some good. his favorite targets are hay bails. He has improved since he came he is quite tame other than when his mood swings hit.but he is doing ok

    he is a barbado.
     
  6. animalfarmer

    animalfarmer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    242
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    His behavior would definitely get him hung up here.Slaughtered and dressed full,then cut in the regular cuts,he should yield a delectable carcass.Enjoy!
     
  7. ShortSheep

    ShortSheep Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    Hi Phyllis,

    I'm into my fifth year with Shetlands. Some rams are destructive even with lots of mental stimulation, and some are not. The Shetland is an intelligent breed, and each has his own personality. I've also shipped off the destructive ones as I got tired of spending time and money repairing stuff.
    Shetland meat is very mild, but some folks have reported a slight gaminess to the meat if the ram is butchered during the height of the rut. And some folks haven't. You can do sausage with spices if you don't want to risk it. The stew meat is also fantastic.
    You can also switch to polled Shetland rams. They do not damage fences or housing, as they would just hurt their noggins. I've got five polled rams and haven't looked back.
     
  8. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,177
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    On the table he should go. No mean animals allowed here.
     
  9. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,799
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    Thanks, all. "Rambo" is calm and considerate with his ladies, even the lambs, never been aggressive, except to buildings and such. He's more exasperating than mean, and I can't think of why he's become that way. Maybe the ewes are boring and he'd rather have a guy to pal around with, but who knows if he'd quit being so troublesome even then? I think we'll end up enjoying some Rambo stew this winter. I've never seen a polled Shetland ram, but that's an interesting thought...
     
  10. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,117
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    France
    He should be delicious as roast, cutlets and stew.
     
  11. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,108
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Location:
    Washington State
    This is quite true! Many rams are far happier if they've got a buddy that they can hang out with and share stories with. I mean, think about it...men may say they'd like to have a harem, but in reality they'd be sick of us pretty quick and wanting to watch Monday night football with their buddies again! :p
     
  12. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Messages:
    3,736
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    VT
    I do Icelandics and I wouldn't have one ram alone in a pen... I'd expect him to bash the place down. Usually I've got a mature ram and a couple of ram lambs in there. The mature ram can, if he wants to, kill a ram lamb... for some reason I've never had that problem. As the season approaches (and lamb testosterone kicks in) I've seen my ram lambs charge my fully horned ram and BAM bounce off his head. He just lowers his head and lets them bounce. It really is comical, he looks hopelessly bored, doesn't even stop chewing cud. The lambs shake their heads and try again.

    BAM. Yawn.

    But before I slaughtered a good ram I'd pitch a second ram in there. We've got one that will go to freezer camp when we throw our good ram in for breeding, he's just there for company.
     
  13. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,799
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    A couple of guys, a couple of sixpacks, football on TV...I may as well earn my "Wackiest Urban Shepherdess" award. And who knows, the beer may give the meat some extra good flavor.
     
  14. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,799
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    Any doubts I may have had about keeping this guy are gone!! A very polite, well-dressed gentleman knocked on our door two evenings ago and told my son "Excuse me, but your ram is in our church". Rambo seems to have pushed the fence out and gone exploring. It took three of us, a dog, and a bucket of grain to get him back home (he was on the grounds, not in the building, as it turned out).
     
  15. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,177
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    He was praying he was not gonna be stew meat {smile}

    Patty
     
  16. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,108
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Location:
    Washington State
    Oh, too funny. Rambo in church....