Dear Curiosity Journal,
Oh Peter! What am I going to do with you? I’m curious about Peter’s change in behavior since the ewes returned from their romantic rendezvous. He senses something, but doesn’t quite know how to respond. Peter is a wethered male, but has always displayed dominance with the girls, mostly over food and attention. He acted totally distraught when they left for their date, crying at the gate and beating up on his little sister, Franny, and the younger ewe, Cauliflower. However, since the older ewes returned, he has been corralling Joy Jr and Pearly (the Babydoll Southdowns) into one corner of the pasture, butting them around, rearing up on his hind legs like he’s going to head butt them (but then just lightly taps them), wagging his tongue at them, and even mounting Pearly! He doesn’t mess with Betty, who is larger than him and not a member of his original flock. It seems he only does this when I’m around. I’ve snuck up on them a few times and none of these shenanigans kick off until Peter gets a glimpse of me. I’m relieved that it’s not all the time, but it’s still worrisome. I know I need to separate him out (at least until lambing season is over), but we haven’t had success in our attempts to keep him away from the sheep so far. We tried it once when he was being aggressive in the beginning, but he nimbly maneuvered over fences until he was back with his gals (even ignoring the gardens, thankfully). The first time we watched him hurdle the fence with ease, Rufus looked at me, affronted, and said, “That’s the height of all our fencing!” That day it became clear that Peter is only in the paddock on his own accord because that’s where his ladies stay. I feel bad separating them, but I’m going to need a new plan and taller fencing.