So, our new little ram, Orion, is fitting right in with the gang. Except for one thing.
He's a grain hog.
Our sheep live on a diet of grass and hay, supplemented with a little grain. Shetlands are a hardy breed, and actually do better when not on too rich a diet. So, morning and evening chores involve chucking some hay at them, then giving them some grain - hand feeding it to them when we have the time (and it's not 40 below), otherwise just dumping some into a big food dish.
Our original three managed to share fairly nicely, with the occasional disagreement that ended in a butting contest, but usually things worked out pretty fair.
Orion, however, thinks he should get all the grain, and elbows... well, horns, actually, the others out of the food dish. They stand around going "Hey! Hey! That's for everybody, ya know. Hey!" while he guzzles all the grain.
So, I tried an experiment. I grabbed their spare water bucket, shook a little grain into the bottom of it, and set it in front of Orion. Once he was engaged with that, I put grain for the other sheep into their food dish, and stood back to watch.
It worked like a charm. Orion, with his head in a bucket, couldn't see the others eating, and thought he was getting the grain all to himself. The other sheep finally were getting their fair share.
My only concern was the bucket handle - I was afraid of it getting hooked on Orion's horns, with him panicking and dashing around the pasture like a... well, like a sheep with a bucket on his head.
Good thing I was worried, because getting his horns caught is exactly what happened. I was close enough to intervene before he realized he had a problem (he was still distracted by the grain in the bottom of the bucket), so I was able to work the handle back off his horns before we ended up with a situation where the other sheep were laughing at him and calling him 'Buckethead.' (It's so hard to maintain any ramly dignity when your flock refers to you as Lil' Buckethead...)
The next day, I came up with a better bucket - a big blue one without a handle.
Goldie, Onyx, and Merlin can now enjoy their supper without getting a horn in the snoot.
And nobody has to be a Buckethead...