Thursday, December 3, 2009

Underhill Bach

Here's a picture of Bach after we brought him home from attending MFF last year.
My Bach is no more. He crossed over the rainbow bridge yesterday evening. It's a long story, so let's start at the beginning.
This year for breeding, we put him where he was next to the non-breeding ewes (we've done that before with other rams without problems) and he kept trying to break into the non-breeders even though he hadn't settled (that I'm aware of) all his girls. After a few attempts and us having to fix and reinforce the fence twice, we decided to put him in a hog panel pen on the lawn exactly where he was last year. Nice and far away from the non-breeders. Well, this year, there was no getting his hormones in line and Monday night around 10pm we heard some bashing and found he had escaped his ewe pen and was smacking the hog panel pen where Gulliver was with a few girls. Bach's girls were luckily still in the pen as he got out from a side area that was baling twined together (multiple times) and was able to squeeze his tiny frame under the fence. I know this as there was some of his wool left behind. Naughty bugger. I'm not aware that he has still settled all the four ewes he was given (only saw him breed Mulan the first day and this past weekend he was breeding Viveka). He was still looking interested in Sabrina and Rakel, but they were having nothing to do with him.

After running around trying to catch him and putting up electronet to grab him, we were able to get him back in our control after one hour. Can you say greased lightning? Once we caught him, we placed him back in with the bachelors and had them all "squeezed". They started clonking heads like usual and I thought it will be no problem. I worked on reinforcing their pen Tuesday to make sure "houdini" didn't get out again and they were starting to become more civilized, I thought. There wasn't a whole lot of bonking going on that day.
Wednesday came with still no terrible problems in the morning, but as evening fell, Tim called me at work to say that when he peeked into the ram pen, Bach was down and he wasn't sure he was still breathing. A half-hour more of work to go and then I came home to him still down and breathing raspily. The vet was coming out to put him down if nothing else could be done. When she got here, she examined him to find his pupils not reacting, a broken jaw, and figures he also had massive brain trauma. While Tim was waiting for her (before I got home) Bach went into a seizure. Needless to say, the right choice was euthanasia.
I will miss my standoffish ram with the beautiful fleece. I now have to hope that he settled enough girls to give me a nice ram lamb to keep.

May you be bounding around verdant fields with no fencing and lots of fertile ewes to breed!