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raddling the rams

Autumn is always a nice time in North Devon, the grass is still growing which is good for the sheep, the Beech trees have turned  beautiful shade of gold and winter hasn’t yet set in. The Autumn sheep work is all finished and the rams have been joined with the ewes at the end of October, ready to start lambing on the 28th of March. The rams wear a thick paint called ‘raddle paint’ on their chests, so that as they serve a ewe they leave a colored make behind. By changing the color of the paint avery 9  days, I can later sort the ewes into groups which will lamb in either the first eight day period, the second eight days, or the red marked ewes which are the ‘lates’

So every other day I have to catch the rams and hold them to apply the raddle. Rams are strong so it can be hard work, but after they have been raddled a couple of times they seem to get used to it, and usually by the second week, they are quite easy to handle. It’s not always the case though and there are occasions when a young rams takes off across the field with me holding on. Just as well there’s no one but the dogs watching!

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