We should have known that it was too good to be true. The rams had stayed in their pen ever since we separated them from the ewes a month ago. This weekend we were going to put them into breeding groups, but yesterday as I was driving down the road, I saw this: a busted gate and a contented Teddy lounging in the ewe's pasture. The other rams were off in the hayfield grazing.
The picture didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, but that's a 4 X 4 piece of lumber that we attached horizontally to the livestock panel, and it extended beyond the post. Somehow they moved the 4 X 4 enough that they were able to push the lower part of the panel through the opening. I can't even begin to explain how difficult it is going to be for us to unstick the livestock panel from its new position. I could explain how we thought that this was a brilliant idea for so many reasons, but obviously we were wrong, so there's not much point.
Now it is pointless to put them into breeding groups, because whoever lambs in five months could be the product of what happened today, or it could be from a breeding that happened shortly after separating them into groups. We'll have to separate them again -- oh, that's going to be fun -- and wait a couple weeks so that at least we'll know which ones are of dubious heritage.