James is the North Cheviot-Suffolk cross ram that came with our farm when we purchased it in 2002. I always loved James- he was always friendly to me and would come up to me and want to be petted. Tom didn’t like James as he would butt him (although not hard) and would come between me and Tom (like he was jealous). James even took Tom for a ride once. The problem was James didn’t fit in well with the Shetland sheep. Since he was an intact ram I couldn’t keep him with the ewes. The Shetland rams would beat him up even though he was a lot bigger- even would butt him through the fence if he was in the next field. James ended up with leg and eye injuries from this abuse. I would keep him in a pasture with just young wethers, but they would usually ignore him. So sometimes I kept him with the cows- the calves seemed to like to hang out with him and sometimes with young wethers. This winter I kept him with the young rams. I am not sure if he was having a good sheep life or not.Anyway I found him on his side barely moving this morning. I propped him up, got him into the cart and brought him back to the barn. I tried him off, gave him water, Nutradrench, Banamine, thiamine, water, hay, grain and animal crackers. He didn’t seem interested in any food but did drink the water. I petted, hugged, and kissed him on his head and then he died. I had to go to work so Tom had to bury him after he got home from work. We aren’t sure how old he was, but we do think he was fairly old and lived a long life. I now feel guilty about ways I could have made it better for him- less time with our mean Shetland rams and more time I could have spent with him. I had a special attachment to this sheep that I don’t think I’ll be able to replace. I’m going to miss him terribly and will never again be able to point out the sheep that “came with the place”. I’ll really miss James.

2008-03-22 05:53:01 GMT
Comments (5 total)

Sorry to hear about James. Sounds like he had a reasonably good life with you. Not many folks would keep an intact ram around with “nothing” to do. Watch for his spirit in this years lambs. 🙂

2008-03-24 04:07:36 GMT


I’m so sorry he’s gone, but so very glad he was being cuddled as he died. What a blessing for both of you.
–Michelle at Boulderneigh

2008-03-24 04:15:51 GMT


I agree that he was treated better than most intact rams, and Tom pointed this out to me fairly often. I just like having him, and I liked his wool too- so different than the Shetlands. But mostly I liked his personality. I am glad I was there when he took his last breath though- I hope it was a comfort to him. I do hope at least one of this year’s lambs has his spirit- it was a great one.–Donna

2008-03-27 00:22:32 GMT


Oh, Donna…I am so sorry to read about James’ passing. I know you did everything you could and he was treat much better than alot of other sheep. And you were with him when he passed…easing you friend’s way from here to the Next Place. He’ll never be replaced, but I do hope you find a spirit like his along the way…

2008-04-07 22:03:47 GMT



2008-04-09 14:55:41 GMT

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