Enter Our Ram Naming Competition

It’s the most important day of the year.

That’s what Andy says about the first day of sheep breeding season.

This day is especially important for farms who rely heavily on a robust lamb crop each year. Many farms only get paid when the crop is ready for harvest — whether it’s lambs or corn or honey — and they have to survive the rest of the year on that one paycheck.

We are still in the early years of our sheep flock, so the pressure is a little bit different for us. We need a good number of ewe lambs to grow our flock, and enough ram lambs to meet the growing demand for our lamb meat.

(And speaking of rams, I mentioned recently that we just added a new breeding ram to our operation, and we could use your help naming him! Submit your idea for a chance to win a prize! Read to the end for additional specials happening as part of our contest.)

 

There’s actually a name for the first day of breeding season — it’s called Tupping Day. A tup is farm jargon for a ram. And it’s an important day for obvious reasons.

This year’s Tupping Day was Saturday. Andy wanted to bring the ram and ewes in close proximity ahead of Saturday to help cue the ewes’ heat cycle. So late in the week, Andy brought them home from the pasture to trim the wool away from their hind ends, clip hooves, and generally just look them over.

After returning home from a cross country meet with our kids, Tupping Day officially got started. We loaded our new ram on the trailer (remember, you can help us name him here) along with his group of yearling ewes, and took them out to pasture.

After they got situated with a new fence setup and shelter, we turned our main ram in with our older ewes here at home. The rams get harnessed up with a special marking crayon that leaves a big red or blue smudge on the back of each ewe they successfully mark.

This helps us know when each ewe is bred so we know when to expect lambs in the spring. It also helps us identify any ewes that might have fertility issues. We could tell right away which ewes were already in heat and which were not. Several ewes were marked right away, which tells us that we can expect our first lambs about five months from Saturday.

It’s fairly entertaining to watch how the ram is faring with each ewe. Not all of the girls were equally impressed with his advances, and their antics usually make us giggle. These animals can make us laugh, cry, groan, grin, and throw up our hands (all in one day) so the moments we get to lean on the gate and smile are especially gratifying.

At the end of the day, when all of our work was done, we celebrated with a big meal, a prayer, and fresh hope for the future of Bethlehem Farm.

As part of our Ram Naming Contest, all online orders through November 7 will be entered into a drawing to win 2 porterhouse steaks! Head over to our online store to see what’s available.

Click over to Instagram to enter our Ram Naming Contest and Instagram Giveaway. Win a Beef Family Bundle or our T-Bone Steak Giveaway. Details to enter are here.

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