Date of Birth: ± 2014

Gender: Male

Gotcha Day: 04/05/2019

Breed: Sheep

Ariane went to the vet for Narnia in late April and the assistant asked her if she didn’t happen to know anyone who might be interested in a little ram who was dying of sadness and loneliness. Not only that but he was permanently attached to a chain, alone, refusing to eat. 

We suspect the vet knew exactly who would take Benco because Ariane’s heart and work is no secret in this neck of the woods.

Ariane went to check him out on the 1st of May. He belonged to a couple who had two sheep and Benco. Both of the sheep had died (one during childbirth and the other was found dead one morning) so he was all alone. The people decided to give Benco away the weekend that followed Ariane’s visit. Needless to say, they were very happy to be rid of him. 

Benco has a stiff hind leg because he got caught in an electrical wire whilst trying to reach the sheep – they were separated because the sheep were in heat and he wasn’t castrated – he dislocated the knee of his right hind leg. Because the owners didn’t want to pay, they didn’t get his leg fixed so now it is now completely stiff. He has difficulty standing on it and it is mostly lifted off the floor. That doesn’t stop him from running around though.

We had to find a shearer urgently as his wool was really thick and it was getting hotter out. We couldn’t find any who would come to shear just one ram, so we had to take him by car to a shearer. Sheep need to be shorn because they cannot lose their excess fluff by themselves (as a result of genetic manipulation) and they can suffocate from the heat otherwise. Luckily the shearer we found was very careful and kind with Benco, which we appreciated as that is not the standard practice. Mostly shearers need to shear many sheep per day so it has to go really fast which means often sheep get cuts in their skin sometimes as bad as flesh wounds. Time is money, as the saying goes.

We tied him up so he could be near us and he decided to take a nap

At first he was very happy to be free in a big field but he quickly wanted to be with Ariane and the other humans so he started banging his head repeatedly against the gate that kept him inside the field to the point that he broke it -he went through it despite being a really small ram. It just goes to show how much power is in that little body combined with those beautiful big horns. We fixed the gate and reinforced it in multiple places. He would still ram the gate multiple times a day until we adopted two lambs, Aslan and Onyx. Since then he hasn’t done it once.

Benco is very sociable; as we mentioned, he would prefer to be with us all the time. Unfortunately, just like Bucky the billy goat, we cannot let him roam around the garden as he eats a lot of things he’s not supposed to. What we sometimes do is put him on a leash and walk around with him or we will attach him to the big linden tree by the house with a very long cable when we’re having a meal. That way he is near us but not able to devour all the plants. 

He loves eating but what he loves even more are butt scratches. He will stop eating if you start scratching his behind and leg area and starts to lean towards you so much so that he almost puts his full weight in your hands.

He’s had a runny nose for a while now and the vets don’t know what it is and how to get rid of it. He was given two shots already but it didn’t improve matters further. It probably doesn’t help that the vets in the region aren’t well versed in animals that aren’t cats, dogs or horses.

Since he was neutered, we rescued two young rams, Aslan and Onyx, to keep him company as he was not interested in his current field-pals Sand (horse) and Fristi (pony). The three rams are constantly together and they really helped cure Benco’s loneliness. Even though he wasn’t alone, he needed members of his own species in order to cheer up.