We are now at the end of the Crofting year - or is it the beginning? It's tupping time. Time indeed for the rams to go in with the ewes, and hopefully the results of that visit will be seen in the Spring. We have two rams, (or tups, as we call them) this year - meet Rocky and Rambo! They have just come down from the hill in the last couple of weeks and are currently building up their strength in the field by the house. They will go to join the ladies at the end of the month as we want our lambs to be born in late April or early May. They are quite a pair, though - let me introduce them properly.
Rocky is a three year old, and is very mild mannered - a bit like his Dad, who was our tup last year. I like him very much, I have to say - he has a lovely face, and I am sure we would get good lambs from him. John is not convinced that he is up to the job, however, and it is true to say that he doesn't seem to be showing any signs of - well - machismo, I suppose! We'll see what happens.
This chap, on the other hand, positively bristles with testosterone! Rambo is certainly ready for the task. Look at him there - pure attitude! He escaped last week, when we were moving the other sheep around, and we chased him round the village three times. He would not stop, even for the cattle grid. Eventually there were six of us tearing around in various vehicles trying to corrall him. He ran into someone's garden and we all followed in hot pursuit, hoping to get him in a corner. He ran straight at John, butting his leg on the way past (causing quite a nasty wound), turned round and stamped his foot at us, then took off round the village again. At last, we got him in a gateway and managed to pen him in, before getting him in the trailer. By this time he was absolutely wild, panting, stamping his foot, butting the trailer sides, prompting some hilarious comments about his vim and vigour!
Yes - I have a feeling that next year's lambs will come from him - hopefully his temper will have calmed down a bit by then.
So - for a couple of weeks it is boys only, then we will let them through the gate into the bottom field, where the girls are waiting. I'll keep you posted if there is any progress -in the meantime, I don't like the look of that sky - time to get inside! xx