For the last five or so years we’ve been keeping pigs and sheep for the freezer, until the year before last where we gave up the pigs for meat rearing and just kept our main two as pets. Last year, after getting very bored of having a constant supply of lamb and mutton we decided to go down the same route with the lambs and just get two sheepies as pets to keep the grass at our smallholding down.

We decided on two lovely looking sheep from some smallholding friends up the road. The brown one is called Burt, who is a Jacob/Zwartble cross and Ernie who is a Shetland/Mule cross. Initially things were great. They’d eat the grass, walk around and everyone liked them. We felt good knowing that we could talk to them and pet them guilt free, knowing they wouldn’t be visiting the slaughterhouse in the sky.

Until now. It turns out that they both hadn’t been castrated properly by their previous owners and are both now fully fledged rams, even tho’ we bought them as wethers (castrated males). However, we’ve had young rams before and they’ve been managable, and anyway they weren’t around very long before being slaughtered, but now Burt has become ridiculously aggressive and has decided to charge at will, butting all and sunder. Not good. Apparantly rams shouldn’t ever be petted and obviously he is now a pet and in a public place next to a recording studio and estate, and has been petted from day dot.

Now what to do?

We have three choices.

1. Ask the previous owners to take them back, whereby they will send them to the abbattoir immediately – they have a ram already, for tupping.
2. Take them to the abbattoir ourselves and sell the meat.
3. Put a sign up on the gate letting people know that there is an aggro rambo in the field and not to pet him.

Annoying, cos I quite like Burt – he’s alright if you’re on his good side…

burt n ernie 2