This is one of those days that kind of controlled itself. The ewes had been in a far paddock so I went out and opened a couple of gates then called them in so we could give shots. Then the vet called and said they could draw blood from Cooper for his health cert for his trip to Texas if we could bring him in this afternoon. Of course Cooper and Pete were in the paddock farthest from the loading area and in a line that meant I had to move the ewes back to clear the paddock that I needed to bring the boys through. He is easy to load and will run right in once he sees that it is open. He is also halter broke so that makes it easier to work with the vet out in the parking area so I just got him to the door and the vet drew blood from outside the door. He doesn't lead well but he also doesn't fight the halter so that's always a plus. He REALLY doesn't like strangers, but he was a good boy today.
He usually pouts for a day after being forced into something new but he came running this afternoon when I went out with crackers.
Cooper is actually a super sweet boy that I'm going to miss. I doubt that he will ever be Ringo tame but he loves being handled and I quit worrying about him being a "ram" a long time ago. We have only been around sheep for a little over 10 years but I'm really questioning a lot of the bad press about how "mean" rams are.
Most animals reflect how they are treated. Ringo is a super sweetheart but will get a little pushy on occasion. He knows he’s done wrong. I scold and shake my finger at him, he’s so comical to watch. One time I was pulling wild persimmons off and hand feeding them to him. The ewes beat him to the ones on the ground. I picked all the ripe ones I could reach, but he wanted more. He hit me and I slapped his face. Only time he ever hit me. After that I was careful how I fed persimmons to him. Spoiled brat expects me to never run out. LOL. I need to plant the Japanese persimmons in the pastures, those get big.
When we had the horned dorsets years ago, we had no problem with the rams. And their horns got near as big as the Dall sheep we have now. The Dall rams are not mean either but they will hit you if they want the bucket and you are not expecting it, but they are more feral and flighty overall. But to just hit you for no reason, just haven't seen it. I did have a friend that had a mean ram and you did have to watch him though....
It's like chickens... most roosters are not mean but then there is one that will ambush you if you are not expecting it.
Most all our bulls are not mean either. I don't get overly concerned going out in the pasture with 99% of them. Had one that gave me pause, just did not like the way he watched me, and then he started pawing and acting snorty and DS sold him. The big 2150 lb bull we just sold was not mean at all... he just wouldn't stay in the pastures, and knew he could take out the fence posts with his shoulder.... when they get like that you have to ship them. But people mean, nope not a bit.
Yes, it has A LOT to do with how they are treated. And you have to respect their space too... just as you want them to respect your space.
We did have a mean ram who would attack you without warning. He was a registered Hampshire ram and as big as a small Shetland pony - probably at the top of the height standard. DS1 bought him and several ewes to start a registered Hampshire breeding project. The ram was docile in a halter and would lead on halter and show, but in his pen he would charge you.
The halter him I had to put grain in his feeder with the halter open in the feeder then when he started to eat the grain I would catch him with my crook through the window over the feeder. Once caught in the crook I had to work fast to put the halter on him and tie him to the feeder. Only once he was in the halter and tied could I enter the pen. DS1 was not afraid of him but once when he did not pay attention that ram caught him and knocked him flying. At the time DS1 was a linebacker on the HS football team.
We had several rams, Dorset, Horned Dorset, a meat production ram from Iowa, and about 4 bucks. None of our other rams or bucks ever tried to ram us like that one. He was seriously mean and we were glad when DS1 sold him.