The grief an overexcited ram can cause a farmer cannot be exaggerated. New chap Roger created something of a stir yesterday morning when I came to give him some fresh hay first thing and found his paddock empty. I set off across the farm to check on the various flocks of ewes but couldn't see him anywhere, whilst OH cruised the lanes in the Landrover for him - lying dead in a ditch, humping someone elses prime pedigree ewes, or butting his way through hedges and freshly washed cars.
Could we find him? No. I flag down the postman and he promises to ask at each farm he passes. We drop in on all the local farmers and they say they'll keep a look out. We go home, me to wait for phone calls and OH to retrace my steps across the farm.
There is a spluttering of "Should've gone to Specsavers" as I clearly missed what was obviously there in my trails through the fields. I hang my head in shame, and then realise that Roger has got in with a large flock (two hundred or more) of mule ewes that have yet to go to the ram. My words are blue, and we waste no time in bringing every ewe in that flock into the barn, Roger wedged firmly among them. There is hardly room to move in there which means it's not difficult to catch randy Roger and hold him manfully whilst I usher out the disappointed ewes.
I'm mortified and hope he hasn't impregnated too many of them - their matings should be with pedigree Suffolk rams. We won't know how awful the consequences are for another five months.
Roger is penned tight, and we realise we're not going to be able to keep him like this for a fortnight, when he's due to join the other Badger Face Torddus, so decide that perhaps he can stay in the barn for a week and split the difference.
This morning he has leapt out of his pen, bending the hurdles in his wake, knocked aside a ten inch thick gatepost and is bounding about the paddock, still frustrated that his semi-freedom has taken him no closer to fresh totty. We relent, unable to bear the prospect of disappearing ram for another fortnight.
All the ewes are brought in for crutching and fluking and Heptavacing, and then the white 'uns are led off with Roger, and the black with Samson. Lambing will be two weeks early in 2010.