I’ve been concerned that Mr. Fancy Ram hasn’t been doing his job. He’s been in with the eight dorset ewes since 2 December, and he’s only visibly marked 3 of them. I was hoping that he was continuing to do his job and that his raddle was just fading, not leaving blue marks on the ewes’ butts despite breeding. On Sunday I brought the katahdin group in with the dorsets, hoping that Angus would breed any gals the dorset ram missed. In my perfect world, the two groups would hang out for 17 days, peaceably socializing, while no further breeding occurred. This would tell me that both rams had done their bits, and all ewes were on the way to making lambs. Instead, Angus bred 3 of the dorsets in the first 12 hours, marking their butts emphatically red.
Assuming that this is the first time these ewes have come into heat, the best I can say for the dorset is that he’s not as enthusiastic about his job as Angus. My fear is that they were cycling when he first joined them, and he missed them. The next test will be to see if the ewes with the dorset ram’s blue mark will be re-bred by the katahdin.
If that happens, Mr. Fancy Ram may be freezer-bound, and I can report back whether $1200 lamb chops taste more bitter than the usual kind.