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Author Topic: Moving sheep when they're with the ram  (Read 8064 times)

Canadian Sheepfarmer

  • Joined Nov 2009
  • Manitoba, Canada.
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2012, 02:04:22 pm »
In passing, I have an old book about Dorset sheep in which it says that it was believed by North Country shepherds that to make Dorsets living far from Dorset take the ram out of season, they must first be steamed up, thoroughly heated. This usually involved chasing them around the field for an hour before putting the ram in.
 
This was prolly a myth put about by Dorset shepherds to protect their valuable 'London Market' for Easter lambs!
 
They wanted to keep the trade for themselves and create a mystery about their breed's ability to lamb out of season.  ;)
 
I mentioned this once to an American shearer who comes here, and he said that he was always told that you get more 'activity' if you move the ewes just before tupping. Widely believed in the US Mid-West.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 02:07:39 pm by Canadian Sheepfarmer »
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feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2012, 02:54:24 pm »
Just a quickie; we have had a lot of repeats this year and so have a lot of our friends, our tups go in July. We have put it down to weather so far but who knows ?
We know our ram is fertile but i think a lot of early lambers are having problems this year.
One friend of ours has Suffolks and has had 75 % of the flock repeat to a very experienced tup. maybe a fluke , bad luck, or something else, time will tell.

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2012, 06:27:10 pm »
Spoke to a friend yesterday who has her sheep scanned along with the large commercial flocks near here (Poll Dorsets).  She said they are all having a lot of single lambs this year and no idea why - ewes flushed and fed as usual. :-\

Hazelwood Flock

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Dorset.
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2012, 06:47:37 pm »
I'm keeping my fingers crossed....all my GFD ewes (23) held first service. This is the first time ever! the first ewe was tupped on 15th august and the last on the 20th september. Looking forward to the tightest lambing ever  :excited:
Not every day is baaaaaad!
Pedigree Greyface Dartmoor sheep.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2012, 08:39:24 pm »
I'm keeping my fingers crossed....all my GFD ewes (23) held first service. This is the first time ever! the first ewe was tupped on 15th august and the last on the 20th september. Looking forward to the tightest lambing ever  :excited:
Boy you have got my sympathies - 6 weeks of lambing.... in winter?! :-\

Riverside21

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Dorset
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2012, 12:48:48 pm »
The ram went to the vets yesterday. He's fertile, nothing wrong with him! He's come back to a small flock in the hope that'll work

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2012, 05:21:53 pm »
Maybe it was just inexperience and numbers then. Fingers crossed he does the job with a few.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2012, 06:12:26 pm »
With all rams of any age spending time watching his working technique is time well spent,just for peace of mind . For some a quick smell then up,a few thrusts then a quick penetration , others take time to get going and can jump several times before penatration :love: :love:

mart2671

  • Joined Sep 2012
  • South Devon
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2012, 06:57:20 pm »
I was always told not to put more than 25 ewes with a ram lamb , my new Pedigree Zwartble ram lamb has only 13 girls and the old ram has the rest of the Pedigree ewes and the commercial ones .

i dont mark the ram for the first 8 days then mark with yellow so u get too clear signs of who should lamb first .

I would get another ram quick and put in with your ewes or youll b lambing for ever :(. Try going to a Market you can usually pick up a ram cheap now as people who have used them sell them on , but check hes fertile .


SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2012, 09:35:26 pm »
I think it depends on the breed  - Lleyn or wilts ram lambs can do 40 easily, and Id expect them to tup 80+ as a shearling.


I have heard that some of the heavier terminal breeds can't manage that many though...I plan to put two SufTex rams, one jan born, the other a shearling to 100 ewes this year......

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2012, 12:01:29 pm »
We usually put our boys in with about 30 girls give or take a few, and with any ram Terminal sire or not, they need to be fit to do the job. As a rule though we don't put a young shearling tup or lamb tup with shearling ewes we always put him with older experienced ewes.

Canadian Sheepfarmer

  • Joined Nov 2009
  • Manitoba, Canada.
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2012, 01:59:51 pm »
I shall put in 9 rams with 200 ewes this year. I plan it to start lambing June 1st. So around the middle of January. Now this is just on the edge of possible. Most sheep breeds would be tricky to catch that late, but the good ol' Dorset delivers. ;)
 
I always put in an odd number of rams, partly through superstition, believing that 2 will fight over the job whilst the 3rd one gets in there!
It is good to have a lot of ram power as I think it doesn't cost me much more to feed and segregate 9, as it would 4. But that extra manpower makes a big difference on getting lambing over with in 3 weeks.

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2012, 05:56:44 pm »
Except when you buy in your rams and they are costing you £600 + each......

Canadian Sheepfarmer

  • Joined Nov 2009
  • Manitoba, Canada.
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2012, 06:35:58 pm »
True words.  I am a commercial sheep producer so it has to pay.  :(
If I was paying crazy money he would have to be very special, in the 1st year after isolating the ram for at least 2 months, at breeding time I would put that ram in a separate yard with 8 select ewes. Then keep 4 select sons from that mating, and voila! - a whole new bloodline!
 
That is in fact what I tend to do. I bought a young ram from the All Canada Classic in 2011, his 4 sons are in the pack for this season. A complete outcross. By colour coding my ewes with different coloured plastic eartags I have 3 distinct easily identified families. That way I can keep rams from my own flock, using rams from different families/bloodlines.
 
The mantra must be keep a closed flock, Rule One. There are so many bugs and diseases out there. A certain amount of in breeding is no doubt present, but I like to put a stamp on my sheep, my Dorsets are very different from the the Continental Club, American, show sort.
Some are a little close bred but as I have remarked before, you can do this with sheep, always provided you are not too hung up with the Book of Common Prayer. :)
 

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Moving sheep when they're with the ram
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2012, 08:55:31 pm »
Rams would be the only thing that I bough in for two reasons:


Firstly I like to keep a genepool wide, and buying in a ram can bring genetic diversity to a flock and secondly, I dont keep ewes of my chosen terminal sire, so I have to buy in those....


Other than that, the flock is now closed.


 

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