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Author Topic: Is it possible to influence the gender of lambs?  (Read 2186 times)

silkwoodzwartbles

  • Joined Apr 2016
Is it possible to influence the gender of lambs?
« on: February 24, 2018, 10:22:10 am »
Has anyone found that a particular management/feed/etc tactic pre-tupping has regularly resulted in greater numbers of ewe lambs born? Or that particular rams throw more females?

I've Googled and only found one article on the subject which suggests that feeding a diet rich in Omega 3 results in more ram lambs whilst one high in Omega 6 results in more ewe lambs - has anyone else found this to be the case?

Really interested in what I can do (other than be lucky!) to increase the number of females born in my flock each year.

Thanks! :thumbsup:

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Is it possible to influence the gender of lambs?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2018, 11:10:40 am »
Our Southdowns generally throw 50:50 or sometimes 40:60 rams:ewes, the Badger Face around 50:50 every time.  The ram decides the gender.

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Is it possible to influence the gender of lambs?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2018, 12:39:36 pm »
I put it down to luck.  Last year I only got 4 ewe lambs from 12 ewes, this year I already have 9 ewe lambs from 8 ewes.  There is a theory floating about that the temperature at tupping time affects the sex but I think that is just hearsay.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Is it possible to influence the gender of lambs?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2018, 04:43:03 pm »
There’s an old farmers’ tale that tups and bulls throw more female offspring when they’re younger and more males as they age.  I did some analysis one year on the moorland farm, where we had nine tups working across 530 ewes, and couldn’t see any pattern. Not all the tups threw 50:50 that year, but one of the youngest threw the most male lambs, the oldest threw slightly more males than females but another older tup threw slightly more females than males.   

I don’t know that it’s correct to put all the cause on the tup.  I know the X and Y genes come from the male, but there are a gazillion ways in which the female can influence which sperm gets to and fertilises the eggs. Acidity of fluid in the vagina, other factors which might influence the motility of one sperm over another; the constituents of the membrane around the ovum, which may be more permable to one sperm than another....  Not much research on all these factors yet, I think. 
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

Tim W

  • Joined Aug 2013
Re: Is it possible to influence the gender of lambs?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2018, 08:38:33 pm »


1400 lambs every year for the last 25 years or more , the last 12 years data i have in front of me and there are 94 more ewe lambs than ram lambs born in that time ---insignificant
I would be interested to know how to alter this ratio if anyone can shed any light

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Is it possible to influence the gender of lambs?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2018, 07:13:30 pm »
You can do it for humans  :farmer:  with over 94% accuracy.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21987941

Timing based on fertility. I've no idea how could be done for sheep though, unless each ewe had measurements taken each day or even more frequently and was only put in with tup after a delay. I have a feeling the mechanics might work in the same way for sheep? The paper and 'Billings method' is easy to understand (and I can recommend it!)

Badger Nadgers

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • Derbyshire/North Staffs
  • Teeswater & Hebridean
Re: Is it possible to influence the gender of lambs?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2018, 09:39:46 pm »
Sexed semen for the articial insemmination of cattle is possible, not heard of it for sheep.




Jukes Mum

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Is it possible to influence the gender of lambs?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2018, 11:13:29 am »
Simple- pray for girls and you'll get more boys. Need more boys, get more girls. Fact  ;)
Don’t Monkey With Another Monkey’s Monkey

silkwoodzwartbles

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Is it possible to influence the gender of lambs?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2018, 11:06:02 am »
Thanks all - some useful and interesting stuff there! Just thought I'd update the thread to say, my final ewe lambed last night. A ram lamb....and (drumroll please!) a ewe lamb :excited: :thumbsup: Phew! One out of 6!

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Is it possible to influence the gender of lambs?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2018, 01:50:06 pm »
My total this year is 9 ewe lambs and 10 ram lambs out of 8 ewes.

silkwoodzwartbles

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Is it possible to influence the gender of lambs?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2018, 03:17:38 pm »
Very impressive Buttermilk! Did you sponge/PMSG/flush/use teasers to achieve that %? I was reasonably pleased with 6 lambs from 4 ewes!

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Is it possible to influence the gender of lambs?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2018, 07:39:10 pm »
No sponging or flushing but I did run a teaser ram in with the girls for a few weeks before tupping.  My hope was to tighten up my lambing but they still took 4 weeks over the job.

 

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