NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Rams & companions  (Read 484 times)

Anvia

  • Joined Jun 2017
Re: Rams & companions
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2019, 09:52:38 pm »
Thanks twizzel,
I hadn’t got as far as thinking about the following year!

In good news I think I’ve got to the bottom of the gate bashing, despite my best efforts to quarantine these two boys as far away as possible from our ewes - he can’t be all that bad looking! one of the neighbours sheep clearly fancies him enough to get past a couple of fences.... she’s been sent home & he seems to have calmed down.

Anke / Sally - We sourced our rams together to be companions (I thought I’d cracked the companion thing there!) from owners who bred them and have never worked them with dogs, they are already “trained”.... well, they know no different! They have only ever known a dog-less handling system, yes we have to learn to work with them and our understanding of that how they will respond to what cue. So far it’s been fine - so far they’ve moved easily to where we wanted them to go & we’ve been able to handle them & administer wormers ect.  We are bucket training our ewes though, it’s new to some of them, and I’d like that to be better established before we tup. Our ewes are well away from the rams and various fields whilst we work on that. At the moment handling them isn’t my issue - it’s what to do in the best interests of this particular rams health.

Scarlett dragon - thanks for your reassurance - I think we currently have hundreds of cycling females completely surrounding us! Not much I can do there, but I do think that’s the explanation for his gate bashing.... Do you think serving a few of his own even in poor condition would be better than keeping him completely away from the ewes? Is the frustration likely to run him down more than if we just let him get on with it?

Again thanks to all - I appreciate you all taking the time to answer all my questions & share your wisdom & experience.
Voss Electric Fence

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Rams & companions
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2019, 10:34:37 pm »

I think we currently have hundreds of cycling females completely surrounding us! Not much I can do there, but I do think that’s the explanation for his gate bashing.... Do you think serving a few of his own even in poor condition would be better than keeping him completely away from the ewes? Is the frustration likely to run him down more than if we just let him get on with it?


If there are ewes around about and he can smell them, he’s much less likely to settle and eat.  Personally I’d put him with the ten ewes as soon as he’s got the all-clear on any health checks and is okay from a lambing date perspective.  Ten ewes will give him an average of a little more than one every other day, so not much work at all really, and he will be much more settled in with his own harem, and hopefully will eat better in between working.  Once he’s served all ten, you might find he reverts to bashing gates and demanding his next batch, but some tups will stay settled in with their ladies.

He’s lucky to have found a home with people who take as much care as you to meet their stock’s psychological needs :)  :hug:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Anvia

  • Joined Jun 2017
Re: Rams & companions
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2019, 10:23:23 am »
Awwww - thank you Sally! - we do try - I find it makes life easier, happier & healthier all around.

I’m pleased to say today he is calm & cheerfully munching away, I’m working on the assumption it was the neighbours ewe who’d got him all het up.

Again thanks to all! Very grateful for your experience & help!

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Rams & companions
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2019, 03:18:35 pm »
I concur with Sally!!!  Hormones upset the boys terribly but if "all is well in their world and the girls taken care of" they will settle down to eat.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Rams & companions
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2019, 06:29:46 pm »
I concur with Sally!!!  Hormones upset the boys terribly but if "all is well in their world and the girls taken care of" they will settle down to eat.
I didn't know you had sheep now as well - what breed have you got then?

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Rams & companions
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2019, 06:34:53 pm »
But I can't help thinking - why would you want to put a Welsh ram to your ewes when you have a Ryeland that will give much better lambs?
I get the companion bit. But why not  get a couple of store lambs for company that'll actually put on weight and value on your grass, and then sell them fat in a few months time when fat prices are up. Presumably you didn't pay much for your Welsh tup. But he's never going to be worth much more than you paid for him, so I would just put him in for meat, and buy something worth having as a companion.  I'm not convinced that a 4 year old welsh ram should be in poor condition because of lack of worming. He should have built up a fair immunity by now and  that is another reason why I'd want rid ASAP.   
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Anvia

  • Joined Jun 2017
Re: Rams & companions
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2019, 01:52:51 pm »
He really can’t be that bad! I’ve just evicted four more ewes who think he’s worth breaking in for.... well it’s keeping me fit I suppose.... & I’m learning - if I can hear the gate being rattled it means he has visitors!

Landroverroy - yes he was priced realistically & realistically he may well end up as cull.... & we do have the option of the ryeland, The current “plan” (I don’t know why I bother - ha ha!) wasn’t to aim to crossbreed, but that option is very much open - I am now the optimistic owner of many many colours of raddle.... & having two tups hopefully means we stand a chance of one being fertile..... There are plenty of things to go wrong still! Assuming :fc: he’s not carrying any kind of evil plague I’m happy to give him a chance and try him with our ewes - providing it won’t harm either. & I’m feeling far more reassured about letting him have a go (assuming he gets through quarantine).

Assuming  :fc:  he comes good- In terms of genetic diversity he’s probably only got a season or two with us anyway... we’ve yet to discover if either ram is capable & neither has a certain future at this moment!  - we may end up needing no companions..... mind you the same goes for our ewes they are all unknown to us too. We are working with a lot of unknown variables.
He’s perky enough (& apparently very desirable to the neighbours lady sheeps!) & he’s grazing in a helpful place - so that’s all good for now.

I’m sure he’s not the first tup to be shunted off to a far distant corner of someone’s farm on the least useful piece of land & be generally be forgotten about - I do hear your warning though.... thank you - neither will be leaving quarantine unless we believe all is well.

 

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