Sexual preferences of the sheep are causing a problem for farmers, as per the latest reports. Yes, you read it right, the gay ram is the villain of the piece. According to a new documentary 'My Gay Dog and Other Animals' one out of 12 sheep is homosexual and the ramifications (pun intended) include the slowing breeding rate on the farms.
Sheep breeders wonder how to increase the population if one out of 12 rams turns out to be gay. Dewi Jones, the head of sheep breeding at Innovis, said: "Commercially it's a big issue for us as a ram breeder because we need our rams to cover lots of ewes." He added, "They, unfortunately, go into the food chain."
The documentary, which will be released on Thursday, says a ram was let into a pen with 30 ewes. However, the ram ignored everyone and went towards an adjoining pen which was filled with rams.
"Testosterone causes masculinisation of the brain, male-oriented rams are not being exposed to as high a level of testosterone prenatally than female-oriented rams," Charles Roselli, who studies the sheep brains was quoted as saying by the Sun. He added that eight percent of sheep is gay.
Explaining sheep sexuality, Professor Cathy Dwyer told The Guardian that the sheep's sexual behaviour is affected by the rearing practices in early life. She said: "There is a study that suggests that about 25% of rams that were kept in an all-male group after weaning were not very interested in ewes when first exposed to them."
She added: "We also know that if male lambs are reared by goat nannies they never show an interest in ewes, only female goats. Rams also display broadly similar behaviours towards subordinate males, and male-male mounting is part of play and pre-pubertal behaviour in sheep and lots of other mammals."
The documentary will also cover other animal species such as dogs, chimpanzees and lions.