Joseph maybe one of our more senior rams, but that didn't stop him saving the day and finding his new calling. We had, what can only be described as, an unfortunate 'tupping incident'. For those unfamiliar with farming terms, tupping is when a ram mates with a ewe. Joseph is about ten, the equivalent of around sixty in human years. He's never been in with the girls before, that is until our incident, so is something of a late starter. This is because he's always been a little difficult and troublesome so we were reluctant to breed from him, especially as it seems to run in the family as his mother Mary was also rather tricky. His chance came purely by accident.
Red Ram, one of our prize rams, was chosen to be in with around thirty of our ewes. He was moved into a separate field where he spent several days impatiently waiting for them to join him. Finally, they were moved in and tupping began. Everything was going well, until the end of the first week. Spencer went out on his normal morning round to check the animals. There was a problem. Red Ram was nowhere to be seen, so Spencer decided he'd better take a closer look. Eventually he found Red Ram; he was dead. There were no signs of injury and it's very likely he had a heart attack, probably from overexerting himself. This presented us with a problem, because a ram usually needs to be in with the ewes for several weeks for them to all be 'tupped'. It was time to bring in a new ram and Joseph, despite being old and a little difficult, was chosen.
Joseph, proceeded to take to his duties with a natural ease, despite being a little stiff in his legs the first few days. The ewes were all tupped, although we brought in Roy later, one of our other prize rams, just to be sure. We are pleased to say Joseph rose admirably to the challenge, and that since taking on his new role he's undergone something of a personality change too, being friendly and approachable now. Perhaps, it really was meant to be, and that every ram has its day.