That’s Why They Call Them Rams
Did you know that rams charge things?
Yeah, I did too, but I had never seen in person.
I had my first experience with charging in December. We’ve owned sheep for over a year (almost 2) and we’ve owned 2 rams (3 if you count the baby male lamb) but none of them had ever charged anything…
Napoleon is our ram. He is one cool dude.
Fun Facts About Napoleon-
- He is a National Champion in the world of sheep showing. We don’t show our livestock, but the folks we bought Napoleon from did. He was one magnificent specimen of a sheep when he set foot on this homestead. Never again will he be “sheared and fitted” to perfection.
- He is as stately as they come. Perhaps this is because of his pedigree and bloodline. He stands in the field like a work of art. He poses for cameras. He clearly thinks he is more distinguished than any other animal on our farm.
- He is even graceful when he runs. If you call him to the barn he trots like a stallion with his head held high.
- Because of his experience in the arena, he is probably our most friendly sheep. He loves affection, walks elegantly on a lead, and is super docile.
- And He always looks like he’s smiling.
I’ve never seen Napoleon display aggressive behavior. I’ve never seen him upset.
At least, not until we moved the cows into his field this winter.
We moved the cows to the fields behind the house for the frozen months.
- We have an automatic drinker (that can not freeze) in our lower fields (where the sheep are). It is always full and never frozen. Which is a gift from the gods. With this sort of drinker, no one needs to fill the water or break ice. It’s wonderful. AND we don’t have one of these fancy drinkers up by the cow barn (they are expensive).
- Trinka is dry right now. We stop milking our milk cows 3 months before they calve. This allows their bodies to focus on making a baby instead of milk. Because we are not milking Trinka, she does not need to be near the milk barn.
- Hay Conservation. With all the animals in one place, we can put out bales for them to eat and waste less. When there are only a few animals eating on a giant bale of hay, a good portion of it will be wasted. The longer the bales sit in the weather, rain, and snow, the more of a disaster they become and less edible. If you have all the animals concentrated to one area – more of the hay is consumed faster and less is wasted.
This isn’t the first time the cows have shared Napoleon’s field. My daughter raised 3 calves who all lived with Napoleon. And Trinka spent last winter living with him as well. We didn’t foresee any problems.
Either Napoleon has become a bit more possessive as he’s matured or maybe he’s just more at home now and has laid claim on his little slice of the farm.
We had no idea what was about to unfold as we loaded Trinka, Boots, and Derby (the calf) into our animal trailer and drove them down to the pasture behind the house where the sheep reside.
Napoleon was in the barn oblivious to the fact that 3 animals had just moved into his territory.
As soon as he noticed them he charged…
From inside the barn, across the field, head down, as fast as he could.
Let me paint this picture a little better for you…
At the time of the assault, my 17-year-old daughter and I were in the field trying to get everyone situated and settled. We had to open gates to let the cows in. We had to make sure the sheep and the dog didn’t escape. We also had to make sure all the new guests knew where to find the water, the minerals, and hay.
We were moving about the field with a bucket of grain in tow giving everyone a guided tour.
This is when Napoleon decided to strike.
My daughter was standing right next to Trinka when Napoleon began his stampede. He spotted the new creatures loitering in his field and set himself on demolition. He lowered his head and took off like a Scooby Doo character as fast as he possibly could.
There he came. Full steam ahead. At a full gallop. Head down. Charging forward.
When my daughter first noticed our ram, Napoleon, charging she started laughing. It was quite the sight. Once she realized he was headed straight for her (and Trinka) and he WASN’T SLOWING DOWN her laughter turned to, “Oh no.” My daughter moved out of Napoleon’s path as he sped straight at his target.
Napoleon never flinched or hesitated. He ran as fast as he could…. into Trinka.
He hit her broadside and any other object on earth would have been decimated, stunned or at least knocked off kilter. Not Trinka. She just looked at him as if to say, “Oh, Hi there. Did you need something?”
This did not phase our charging ram.
He regained his composure and began his second stampede straight into Boots. Boots is our bull. He did not take the rams affections as lightly as Trinka did and showed his disapproval by knocking Napoleon with his 700-pound skull.
Napoleon was not going to be deterred. I suppose he thought all the newbies needed a proper ramming. He blasted off like a missile into Derby’s direction (Derby is the calf). At this point, my daughter and I are having trouble catching our breath because we are laughing so hard. Napoleon is raming everything in the field. My daughter is running for her life and shouting warnings to other innocent bi-standing mammals.
When Napoleon headed in the direction of his next victim (Derby) we were both yelling:
The calf looked up at us but nothing could stop the collision from our territorial, confused, overprotective ram.
I think Napoleon had rammed all the cows at least twice before he chilled and stopped running into things.
My daughter was laughing so hard she couldn’t talk.
I needed new britches.
Napoleon probably needed some ibuprofen. But a headache served him right. He should be nicer to guests.
Our ram finally settled down. We managed to stop laughing before we hurt ourselves.
I suppose Napoleon was satisfied that everyone knew he was the boss. At least, he thought he had established who the boss was. We all know who is really in charge…
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