NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Keeping Rams and Ewes together  (Read 247 times)

minibn

  • Joined Jun 2012
Keeping Rams and Ewes together
« on: February 02, 2020, 07:32:06 pm »
Hi,
I feel like this is possibly a stupid question, but please don't judge.

Are rams and Ewes able to be kept together and not breed. What I mean is do ewes only come into season at certain times of the year, like other animals and is there a point in the year that they can't get pregnant. Or is it advisable to keep them separate all the time if you don't want any lambs.

I ask as I am potentially looking at increasing numbers.

Thanks
Voss Electric Fence

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Keeping Rams and Ewes together
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2020, 08:40:28 pm »
Depends on breed, location, climate.

What sort of sheep and where are you?
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

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Keeping Rams and Ewes together
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2020, 08:46:20 pm »
Ditto above. The books generalise and tell you MOST british breeds come into season Oct to Dec. Unfortunately, many ewes fail to read these books and forget to switch off the hormones in the New Year. :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep:

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Keeping Rams and Ewes together
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2020, 09:01:01 pm »
Ditto above. The books generalise and tell you MOST british breeds come into season Oct to Dec. Unfortunately, many ewes fail to read these books and forget to switch off the hormones in the New Year. :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep:


Likewise quite a few will start cycling in August or September or even earlier.


Rams come into season too; you can tell by how they smell as to whether they are getting geared up for breeding- mine normally start fighting and squaring up to each other in late July and you can normally smell them before you see them in the field

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Keeping Rams and Ewes together
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2020, 12:12:29 pm »
I'd say ewes are at risk of being served from late August - mid March. Lots of variants on that though, depends on breed etc etc. You can have adult rams castrated by the vet.


SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Keeping Rams and Ewes together
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2020, 12:38:29 pm »
Doing a bit of post-surfing, it's a Shetland tup you've got, yes?  If you stick with Shetland ewes, or other similar northern-shortailed primitive types, you would probably get away with running the tup with them from spring until early September.  But you'd need to keep him separate for nearly half the year, I'm afraid.

I used to keep my Shetland tup with the flock (a breeding flock, primitives and hill types) year round, and I never had anyone tupped before mid-Oct, but that was in the uplands of the far north of England.  Lower down could have been a different story.

If the ewes have any continental - Charolais for one - or Downs blood in them, they could cycle earlier, so you'd probably only get three or possibly four months when they could be together.  And if there is any Dorset blood in them, you would not be able to run him with them safely ever; they will cycle any time.
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

 

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