Meet Giles, my new pedigree coloured Ryeland ram, bought to help my ewes produce some lambs with interesting spinners' fleeces. His pedigree name is 'Juggernaut', but I've named him Giles as, like the tv character, he'll be in charge of Buffy, Willow and Cordelia (my ewes). That said, it was recently pointed out to me that the tv Giles' role did not include some of the duties that sheepy Giles will be expected to perform. So I suppose the analogy should end there!
This little guy's not been here long, I collected him from his previous home, way up in the north of England last week. Surprisingly he didn't seem at all bothered by the journey and he's settled in very well here.
The photo was taken yesterday, shortly after I put him and his new companion Splodge, a friend's Texel ram, in their new paddock. Splodge and Giles have spent the last week together in a stable, separated into different pens. The idea was to allow them to get to know each other, although judging by how they reacted when I put them in the field, they still had a lot of 'issues' to resolve. As you can see in the photo below, Splodge isn't the world's prettiest sheep. He's also large, much larger than Giles, and he's keen to demonstrate that as far as other sheep are concerned, he's the boss. Fortunately, Giles is young and very nimble. As soon as Splodge lowers his head to charge at his field companion, Giles bounces out of the way. He also knows that humans are safe. I've never owned a grown sheep that wanted to be near people before, my ewes are very still wary, despite lots of handfeeding, but Giles is just the friendliest little guy. If he thinks that Splodge is looking menacing, he'll come over to me and hide. Whether I could withstand a battering from Splodge is another matter!
They look quite companionable in the photo, but I think they were just pausing for breath. Frankly, I'm not sure that Splodge can stay here for long if he keeps pestering Giles. I borrowed him as my other sheep are all ewes, and putting a single ram in them could be exciting for him, but will play havoc with the lambing schedule. So I'll give Splodge a few more days' trial to see if things settle down, if not, I'm on the lookout for some wether rams to keep him company instead.