Did he or didn’t he? Ram is suspect

Did he or didn’t he? Ram is suspect

You see, with lambing season well under way, I have yet to see the fruits of his labour.

And while all around, those who keep ewes are happily delivering lambs, here on this farm, it’s all quiet on the western front.

So without wanting to be crude, I have to ask was there any lead in the old boy’s pencil at all? Was he, as they say in Texas, ‘all hat and no cowboy?’

Last year, having grown sick and tired of losing money in beef, it was suggested to me that I should try sheep.

“Yerra, you’ll lose far less money with sheep,” I was told. And so off I trotted and purchased 20 young breeding ewes.

Experts in the sheep game will tell you that the ewes are only half the battle, and in order to achieve success in sheep breeding, you’ll also need a ram.

So back to the mart I went again, and this time I purchased the finest ram that you ever did see.

You should have seen him that day in the mart, and he swaggering around the place as if he owned it. He looked like Julio Iglesias himself.

Sure, he had a few miles on the clock, he had a big old head up on his shoulders, but I saw no harm in that. I thought my ewes back home would be like putty in the old boy’s hands.

I believed he was exactly what I needed, the older the violin the sweeter the tune, that sort of thing.

So with the business of purchasing him complete (he was as cheap as chips), I carted him home. On touching down, I let him out and he made straight for the grass. And as for my ewes, who made a drive to get as far away from him as they possibly could.

Well, I had to laugh, thinking that my work was done, because once he was content in the grass department, I presumed my Lothario would turn his attention to the ewes. Over time, I felt they would fall in love with his big head and worldly swagger.

Just like Pat Mustard on Craggy Island, I felt the evidence of his work would soon be on show for all to see. He had that confidence about him. Well, clearly I was wrong.

The thing is, I never did actually see him at work. Sure, he chased the flock on a number of occasions, but then he seemed to tire of this activity, and after that only seemed interested in eating grass or sleeping. He loved sleeping.

Often times, when I came into the field, I would find him out for the count. He could snore like you wouldn’t believe.

Then, other times, you’d catch him looking over the boundary ditch at the wind turbines. He seemed transfixed with the engineering process involved in constructing the monsters. He could spend hours just looking at the blades revolving.

To be honest, the hoor seemed to spend his time doing everything but what he was designed to do.

But then I thought that he must surely be getting up to mischief during the night-time hours, and so I didn’t make much of a fuss until now.

’Tis only now, with no lamb in sight, that I’m rightly concerned. Looking at my ewes this morning, I fear no lamb will appear at all.

My ram, my old Romeo, has left me down with a bang.

More in this section


Keep up-to-date with all the latest developments in Farming with our weekly newsletter

Sign up

Some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up