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Author Topic: Boisterous wether lamb  (Read 2368 times)

wannabesmallholder

  • Joined Jan 2017
Boisterous wether lamb
« on: June 21, 2017, 07:23:41 pm »
Having spent some time "taming" my small flock of Ouessant girls, I'm now left with one who is maybe a bit too tame - can't win!

He is a lamb born this year and castrated straight away. He is lovely in a way as very bold and friendly - comes running up to us, easy to catch and follows us around the field very sweetly. But he does love to head butt.... I know it's only in play, but I imagine if it continues he could do some damage as he gets bigger. I have young children and they're already wary of him now, which is a shame as they love the sheep and just want one to pet. The girls are still too nervous and he's over confident!!

What's the best thing to do?
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bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: Boisterous wether lamb
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2017, 11:50:59 pm »
Dont turn your back to(o?) him ;)

Yeah had a few ourselves - Jack is the one at the moment - bloody thing - after he butts you to the ground he looks at you and says 'sorry its what I do'

Sorry no real advice - but by butt they can cause some real damage being so bloody big and headbutty and stuff.

We have a footpath running through the yard - and what I say to people is dont pat the ram on its head - tickle its chin. Rams (and weathers) I think in their nature will play the game like they do in the field with others. butt butt butt butt

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: Boisterous wether lamb
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2017, 11:53:51 pm »
I dont think you can calm them down in all honesty  and its nothing todo with its upbringing

Backinwellies

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  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: Boisterous wether lamb
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2017, 07:56:02 am »
Direct him to freezer and try again ..... some tame beautifully and some don't ... I have one that was great in first year and a real pet .... however this year he has gone for my aging dog and head butted me .... Hogget looking likely!
Linda

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bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Boisterous wether lamb
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2017, 08:02:40 am »
When my friendly Rams and Ram lambs do that I slap them across the face (hard) and then chase them off. After the second time they usually get the message. I understand that its very confrontational but I'd rather that than the Rams thinking they were in charge!

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Boisterous wether lamb
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2017, 02:56:08 pm »
Physically dominating a ram may work if you're an adult but a ram, whether castrated or not, is unlikely to be fooled by a child.  Once they show this behaviour I'd not trust them again.

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
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Re: Boisterous wether lamb
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2017, 05:08:22 pm »
at this age both ram lambs and sometimes even ewe lambs will head butt they are exploring their boundaries. it is the right age for a spot of learning too. By being overly friendly with him you are encouraging this type of interaction. An aversive ( this could be a spray bottle of citronella ) or other such deterrant will stop this behaviour before in becomes engrained. Needless to say i wouldn't tolerate this type of behavour at all from a lamb destined to remain entire or he will end up in the freezer. From a wether have been in this situation with a much older bottle fed ram and castration plus aversion worked very well.  If you leave it as its cute it will become a nuisance and potential danger. step on it now.
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wannabesmallholder

  • Joined Jan 2017
Re: Boisterous wether lamb
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2017, 09:49:15 pm »
Thanks @kanisha I think we do try to nip it in the bud now if we can. So annoying as have been trying to get them tame enough for the kids to "pet". The others are still too wary, although braver than they were, but he has gone insane! If I sit down in the field he will climb all over me and paw me with his front feet. And then follows us round the field head butting - naughty boy! With the citronella spray, do you mean spray him when he gets over familiar? Spray on his head? Won't the citronella sting his eyes?

Fieldfare

  • Joined Feb 2011
Re: Boisterous wether lamb
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2017, 11:26:25 pm »
Although wethers can be giddy, He could also actually be a rig? (i.e. one or both testicles trapped in the body cavity) so actually may still be producing some testosterone and slowly maturing as an intact ram would. Anything male and butting should go to the freezer. You cannot cure this behaviour once they have crossed the red line. They are just too risky with children.


I keep Castlemilk Moorits and find the best way to treat the rams (and any wethers) is to keep contact down to a minimum from when they are young- so they are naturally scared of me and always keep their distance (although I would never turn my back on even them). I have had tame ones and they can be really dangerous.   





wannabesmallholder

  • Joined Jan 2017
Re: Boisterous wether lamb
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2017, 07:24:46 pm »
Yes have been wondering about whether was a rig or not.

Funnily enough my children are doing a better job at disciplining him than me. When he jumps up at them they flap their hands about in his face and scream. Exactly what we tell them not to do when a dog does the same thing, but actually seems to put a sheep off fairly effectively  ;)

Thanks for the advice. Will get firmer with him and if no improvement he might be making a trip to the freezer....

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Boisterous wether lamb
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2017, 09:36:39 am »
You may not have the optimum breed for child-friendly sheep.  In the past I've sold Down sheep to folks with Lleyn and with Ouessant sheep originally bought for that reason.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Boisterous wether lamb
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2017, 03:21:05 pm »
What is "tame". I consider my sheep tame compared to the sheep around us but that doesn't mean I think they are a tamed sheep suitable for petting by small children. In my opinion children are better brought up learning to be safe around farm animals and if they and the animal are comfortable with contact then fine. I think it is potentially a problem to bring up children thinking farm animals are pets. It also creates problems by confusing the animal and it is then unfair to label the animal untrustworthy when all it did was display the normal behaviour it would display with those of its kind.




Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Boisterous wether lamb
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2017, 04:09:30 pm »
Should children perhaps be brought up to respect all animals, whether farm animals or house pets.  "Respect" the way I'd define it would include everything from not turning your back on a ram, boar or bull to not dressing up a dog in a tutu.

Red Merle

  • Joined May 2017
Re: Boisterous wether lamb
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2017, 07:32:08 pm »
Yes have been wondering about whether was a rig or not.

Funnily enough my children are doing a better job at disciplining him than me. When he jumps up at them they flap their hands about in his face and scream. Exactly what we tell them not to do when a dog does the same thing, but actually seems to put a sheep off fairly effectively  ;)

Thanks for the advice. Will get firmer with him and if no improvement he might be making a trip to the freezer....

Please ensure your children do not do this around strange dogs.  They are likely to get bitten. 

Personally I think pet sheep are the most dangerous animals on a farm. If you've ever had a full grown bucket fed wether run at your knees you will probably agree.

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Boisterous wether lamb
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2017, 07:28:54 am »
I once read some statistics where it stated that more people were killed in the world by rams than bulls, also more people got killed by donkeys than horses.

 

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