A couple of weeks ago, one of my ewes was uncharacteristically friendly with Bravo, and I wondered if she was in season and looking for satisfaction from him. I showed the video to Bill Fosher, and he thought it was pretty weird behavior, but suggested that if the behavior repeated when the ewe ovulated again 17 days later, we’d have an answer.
Well, today was day 17, and #139 was back at it, with Bravo looking rather uncomfortable with the attention.
To further complicate matters, we have a developing love triangle.
The brown fellow who’s trying to get the attention of the ewe is a ram lamb born at the beginning of March. I wrote earlier about the challenges of castrating young male lambs — they’re very good at pulling their testes up into their abdominal cavity when you start messing with them, so it’s quite easy to do an incomplete job. I believe this guy, #708, successfully eluded the Elastrator with at least one of his seeds, turning him into a “crypto-ram.” A testis in the abdominal cavity will still produce testosterone, making him behave like an intact ram, but the temperature up there is too high for sperm to survive, so he’s sterile. He can’t impregnate my ewe, but he thinks he’d like to. I’m not sure if she’s ignoring him because he’s young or because she’s already got a boyfriend.
The drama should be over by tomorrow morning, but I’m afraid this will repeat a couple times a month until I breed the ewes for real in December.