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Author Topic: Ram butting ewe  (Read 561 times)

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Ram butting ewe
« on: February 02, 2021, 06:36:53 pm »
My young 11 month Soay ram is becoming very aggressive with some of my ewes. He's in with 2 Soay ewes and 3 Wiltshire Horn ewes, plus 2 Soay wethers. I'm hoping the ewes are in lamb and we're currently trying to get a ram paddock fenced so we can move him and the wethers out well before lambs are due (April) but the weather (and other things) has been against us. However he is really bashing the Wiltshire Horns big time. It's just as well they are a lot bigger than him. He backs up a long way before running at them but because of their size he sort of bounces off, however I'm concerned he could cause them to abort. Should I remove him now? I can put him in a temporary pen although it's quite small with almost no grass and no shelter. Our other paddock is resting and being saved to turn the ewes into once they've lambed.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Ram butting ewe
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2021, 09:09:11 pm »
Separate the tup with the wethers for company
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Ram butting ewe
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2021, 09:10:10 pm »
Separate the tup with the wethers for company

You can make some shelter using pallets
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: Ram butting ewe
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2021, 01:21:51 am »
Soay tups can be absolute wee sh!t3$, although yours is starting early (doesn't bode well for the future). In the end we decided not to keep a Soay tup so we don't breed our 3 Soay ewes.  He could well cause a ewe to abort, or damage the foetus, and may beat up the lambs after they are born. He could also attack the ewes when they are giving birth, as a reaction to the 'strange' hormones he will smell, and their strange actions (I experienced this with a Manx wether, but just as bad)
As Sally says, get him out, plus the wethers, asap. It's more important really than your field rotation, unless you can find somewhere else to keep him.  Don't leave him on his own.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the the lifeblood of your land.

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Ram butting ewe
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2021, 09:24:52 am »
Thanks. We have decided to separate him and will give him at least one wether for company until the bigger paddock is ready.  Our plan was always to remove the boys prior to lambing, it's just that we are struggling for paddock space atm. Annoyingly there is plenty of grass elsewhere, just no fences round it yet!

We were initially going to borrow a ram but then the opportunity arose to buy one and we weighed up the pros and cons of both. We wouldn't have been able to have the borrowed ram till December and then accounting for quarantine period he probably wouldn't have gone in till nearly Jan, pushing lambing too far into the year.

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Ram butting ewe
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2021, 12:37:56 pm »
An update on this and a question:

Boys were separated from girls. They hated it. Walking the fence line constantly. This has gone on for weeks. Last night they broke through the dividing fence and back in with the girls who haven't lambed yet (the new mums are in an adjacent pen). Boys are now super chilled  ::). Should I leave them where they are or put them back in their paddock again (fence now mended). I don't want the ram to start repeating his bolshy behaviour although no evidence of it so far.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: Ram butting ewe
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2021, 12:49:22 pm »
Do you have another paddock to put the males in which is more than just a fence away?  Soays can easily destroy a fence, or hop over one too. Yes, get the tup out away from the ewes. Tups don't change their behaviour. The further away from the ewes they are the better.
When we used to have lots of tupping groups which had to be adjacent to each other, we put up a single strand of electrified wire at tup chest height, on the tup's side of the fence.  This effectively prevented fighting through the fence, and damage to the fence.  Don't use electrified mesh which the tups will attack then get tangled in with bad consequences, but the single strand, held out from the fence 20-25 cm by wire insulated spacers which you buy at the same time as the wire, worked well.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 12:51:41 pm by Fleecewife »
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the the lifeblood of your land.

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Ram butting ewe
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2021, 01:16:38 pm »
The only paddock that is further away is the one intended for the ewes when all the lambs have arrived. So no choice but to put boys back into their old paddock for now. My husband has reinforced the fence with barbed staples which don't pull out (the boys had basically pushed against the stock fencing popping the staples out and climbed through the gap between the stock fence and line wires above) so that should hold now. As you say maybe they will be less bothered once all the ewes are moved further out of sight.

 

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