“Ram lookin’ over a four-leaf clover…”

Yesterday was a stunningly beautiful early autumn day in the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains, a perfect day to photograph the rams leaving our farm for eight (so far) new homes in the next few weeks. Now I’m back inside with a couple of hundred photos and struck by how many of them show an otherwise stately British Soay ram shamelessly gorging on clover. We’ve read that sheep vasty prefer clover to ordinary pasture grass, but we have never tried to figure out whether this bit of sheep lore is true.

I’m not sure about scientific bases for much of anything; I rely on my resident geneticist for data. But having watched and photographed our rams in what for them was a new stretch of pasture, I can attest to their preference for clover, however many leaves it has.

All of which leads me to conclude that a gallery of silly pictures of rams chomping on clover is probably just as effective as using dignified pictures to illustrate the array of horn types, fleece colors, and body conformations about to be shared with fellow heritage sheep lovers from Massachusetts to South Carolina to Wisconsin to Kentucky and points in between. I hope you are outside enjoying the sunshine, but if you are stuck inside, have a look. As always, click on any picture to enlarge it.

2013 British Soay ram Saltmarsh Lewes

Lewes bred for us and now heads to North Carolina to sire more very dark-fleeced British Soay lambs

2013 British Soay ram Saltmarsh Emsworth

Light phase Emsworth bred for us last year and now moves on to northern Wisconsin near my alma mater, Lawrence University

2014 British Soay ram Saltmarsh Glanton

Yearling Glanton will trade our clover for the bluegrass of Kentucky in a couple of weeks

2008 AI British Soay ram Saltmarsh Emmett

Our senior, tenured AI ram Emmett isn’t going anywhere, but he too loves his clover

2014 British Soay wether on Saltmarsh Ranch

Wethers like clover just as much as breeding rams do. Would you like to own this mellow lawnmower? Give me a call!

2014 British Soay ram Saltmarsh Ridsdale

Yearling Ridsdale would love to move to a farm that needs a breeding ram or, better yet, our last starter flock still for sale at half price

2009 AI British Soay ram Saltmarsh Buckley

Buckley has a short trip to his new home in Oregon after doing yeoman duty for us as one of our foundation AI rams

2014 British Soay ram Saltmarsh Birling

Yearling Birling can’t wait to breed in northern Oregon starting this fall

I leave you with this fun photo of two rams vying for the Best Clover Eater award:

British Soay rams 2013 Saltmarsh Holmsted and 2012 Saltmarsh Sheldon

Holmsted (yellow tape) will arrive in Kentucky shortly after Ron Keener drops Sheldon (red tape) off in northern Wisconsin

For now …