I’ve been so paranoid about how to get the rams back together that I’ve left them in their breeding pens and just not dealt with it. The girls are nearing their due dates, though, and are starting to get much hungrier, and the easiest way to deal with that was to get the
pigs rams out of there and let the girls eat their share.
After our disaster reintroducing rams two years ago, when Sue and Raven killed Panic, I saw this article, too late to help us that year, but really helpful. Last year, Valerie kept the boys together all year, except for a short time when Sue was in with Fiona, so she didn’t have to deal with reintroductions, luckily.
I’ve been trying to figure out what sort of enclosed area we could come up with, that would pack the boys in tightly enough. We don’t have a barn, we don’t have out-buildings (yet! yet!), so I was envisioning what we could make with cattle panels, and not really coming up with something small and sturdy enough.
Then I had a rush of brains to the head and remembered the trailer. It worked like a charm. We pulled the boys out in the afternoon, left them for about 24 hours, and I made Frank check on them. I was still really paranoid and convinced that if I looked, there’d be a bloody mess or a dead sheep, and I just couldn’t make myself do it! The crashing and bangs were really loud, you know? Frank said that every time he looked in, though, it really wasn’t that bad. Sue had the boys well under control, and much of the noise was horns on the sides of the trailer. There weren’t even any bloody heads, amazingly.
I didn’t put Buster in. He’s just too little, and he already lost a horn this year. (It is growing back nicely. I’m telling myself that it gives him character.) Besides, he doesn’t eat much, and he’s enjoying himself with the new girls (who are just the sweetest things). He’s nowhere near the pushy pig that the older boys are.
Frank asked me if the Red Scoop of Joy was going to be enough to bring the boys back to their pen, and I said absolutely. Getting them inside had been a pain, because we were taking them from the girls, after all. All we did to get them back was lower the door and they all walked behind me like little angels. There’s been a bit of shoving and um, mounting, now that they are together, but overall, it’s worked out great. Yay. (whew!)