Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Ewes being put to ram  (Read 6425 times)


  • Joined Aug 2010
Ewes being put to ram
« on: October 22, 2010, 01:34:05 pm »
I am a total novice to keeping sheep - so everything that we do this year is a 'first time'.
I am 'borrowing' a ram to tup my three Ewes. He is coming on Nov 8th - a couple of weeks time. I have the three Ewes on 1.5 acres of average grazing and they have been having small amounts of concentrate (Ewe Nuts) for the past week or so since the weather turned cold. They have access to this year's Hay but don't seem that interested. They also have access to a Tubby Bucket - general purpose minerals plus an additive for good feet. They use it regularly. Two of the Ewes are 3 year olds - the third is this year's lamb but is now nearly as big as her mum (ideally she should not go to ram this year - but it is a bit tricky to separate her from the other two - because she would be on her own). The Ewes' condition looks pretty good to me - big and solid, happy and friendly.

I would welcome any suggestions for preparing them for tup - the ram is this year's lamb - about 8 months so he is still fairly small - but I am keeping him for about six weeks - probably until January - so he has a chance to get cracking. Do they need any special concentrate to replace the Ewe nuts? - or any other preparation for that matter? - Thanks for any suggestions.


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Ewes being put to ram
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2010, 02:23:12 pm »
Score their condition along the back. if you feel their spine sharply they are too thin, if not at all they are too fat. Have you got a book on sheep? It should explain how to do it, or get the owner of the ram lamb to show you on his/her ewes. If the grass is good I wouldn't feed nuts, maybe a tiny handful if you need them to get used to you (I do that just now with three new arrivals). They won't need hay until the grass gets eaten or snow is on the ground (but what breed are they? some are better at scratching through the snow than others). Depends where you are. Better save your hay, there is not much about this year!

I wouldn't breed from a ewe lamb, but if she is well grown she should cope, but will need extra feed, as she is still growing. Other people on the forum may better to advise on this, I have never done it. Depends on the breed and on the ram (breed, his eventual size etc).


  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Wales
Re: Ewes being put to ram
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2010, 04:05:01 pm »
If you are putting a tubby in the field where the ram is make sure it doesn't contain urea as this can effect ram apparently, If the ewe lamb is 80% of mum's size she could be bred from but always best not to if possible as she will need extra feed and probably a little help at lambing if she stops growing because of pregnancy.
If you can bring her out with a ewe then when the other ewes have been covered swap the ewe with the lamb for the one that has been covered.


  • Joined Aug 2010
Re: Ewes being put to ram
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2010, 07:50:29 pm »
Many thanks for your replies. The sheep are Wiltshire Horn ewes - bought because they don't need shearing and are not susceptible to fly strike. From your description of condition assessment I think that they may be veering towards the fat side rather than too thin - they are a biggish breed of sheep anyway. We can check them this weekend as they are due a wormer drench. I will check the Tubby contents with the supplier (Denis Brinecombe - Crediton) - they have a helpline. Looks like they are OK with feed then - but I need to keep an eye on the lamb. Thanks again for your advice.


  • Joined Aug 2010
Re: Ewes being put to ram
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2010, 07:23:50 pm »
Many thanks also for mail from Katie - which I attempted to reply to but probably sent a null message. I have a couple of Sheep books - I have found 'Sheep for Beginners' (Nigel Woodrup) and also 'An Introduction to Keeping Sheep' (Jane Upton and Denis Soden) quite useful. 'Sheep for Beginners' is one of the Gold Cockerel series - there are quite a few others in this series which relate to Smallholding.

I am also lucky in having a friend who has a few sheep of his own - and quite a few years of experience - but I try and do as much as I can without bothering him. I also went on a Sheep Course with DASH (Devon Assoc of Smallholders) - which was useful in giving us a bit of confidence and full of useful info packed into one day.

And yes - the Wiltshires are lovely (although my sheep friend is a bit wary of their horns - as all of his are poll breeds). Hope I will still be thinking the same tomorrow as we have to give them their pre-tup worming drench! Thanks again for your E-Mail, Katie


  • Joined May 2010
Re: Ewes being put to ram
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2010, 12:43:29 am »
Other things to check pre-tupping include feet (you won't want to check them again before lambing), teeth (in older ewes a broken mouth will mean she may not be able to eat enough to support carrying lambs), udder ( no lumps or redness and inflamation, correct suspension) and that backsides are clean - that shouldn't be a problem for you.  When checking the tup, check his feet (no footrot to pass onto yoru pasture, no lameness to distract him from his preformance), genitalia ie penis and scrotum (no signs of infection, discharge and that there are two evenly sized testicles present).  Also check his general health - clear eyes, no signs of orf, no signs of footrot, and that he has been wormed - anything which could be passed on to your ewes.
Our ewes are wolfing into their hay up here.  There is still grass but it has been well frosted so will not contain much nutrition, nor be very palatable.  All the sheep are also eating every nettle they can find.
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.


  • Joined Feb 2008
  • worcs
Re: Ewes being put to ram
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 05:20:33 pm »
I wondered why you sent me my post back! ;D


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