Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Keeping a ram  (Read 238 times)

mebnandtrn

  • Joined Mar 2014
  • lower whitley
Keeping a ram
« on: September 23, 2022, 07:59:22 am »
We have always borrowed a ram for our 10 ewes but for various reasons are considering getting our own ram. We have enough space and grass for him, but the field layout means he will often be in a field next door to the ewes. Will he try to break through a stock fence? Itís newly installed but still donít want it trashing. Will keep him with a second boy, so he wonít be lonely. Thoughts appreciated.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Keeping a ram
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2022, 08:56:23 am »
Our Nigel (Shetland) would wear himself out if kept that close to girls.  And yes would challenge the fencing and gates mercilessly.  He's polled so can't cause the amount of damage a horned tup's headgear would, but over time he would loosen fencing for sure. 

Would you be able to split one or both of the fields, so that you always had some empty space between the boys and the girls?

We keep our tup with a minimum of 2 wethers (usually 3 or 4), because tups can spend a lot of time on their own, patrolling and scenting for opportunities to work.  So then a sole wether companion is left on his own.  If you have 2 or more wethers, they still have company even if the tup is off on a solo mission. 

I don't know if you need the tup to be a specific breed, but if not, I would look for something polled and lazy.  Texel or Beltex if you want chunky lambs, or maybe others can recommend other polled breeds where the tups watch telly and drink lager for 48 weeks of the year, rather than seek work constantly. ;)

(We wouldn't swap our Nigel Ever Ready Golden Balls for a gold pig, but he does take a bit of looking after because of his work ethic!) 
« Last Edit: September 23, 2022, 08:58:55 am by SallyintNorth »
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

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Keeping a ram
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2022, 09:05:20 am »
Better that they have a bit of distance between them. Ours has broken through before now. Can you fence a second strip parallel to the party fence so there are two fences between him and the ewes? If not enough room to create a small central paddock then maybe a shelter belt with a few trees planted within?

Our ram only goes in with the ewes for a few weeks - due to our paddock layout the ewes go to him and then we take the ewes away again once we're certain they've stopped cycling. He has a couple of wethers for company. Our sheep are a mixture of Soay and Wiltshire Horn, so all horned and will bash the fences - even the ewes do it, not just the boys.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Keeping a ram
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2022, 09:25:22 am »
Yes our Shetland has broken the fence when constantly ramming the post, when in a field next to girls in autumn. Perfectly fine (with a couple of wethers for company) at other times of the year. I don't know if other breeds are as aggressive. Horns don't help at all...


I have also found that the tups get very aggressive towards mid-winter - when I start feeding the ewes some concentrates, and tup not only rams into the ewes but also into my legs if I am not careful. So we always take them out at Xmas at the very latest, and preferably move them across the road (but by that time they are also usually ok in the next field), or if I find they are just too pushy they go into our freezer then.


I have for the time being though, given up on breeding my sheep, just keep wethers and the ewes to provide mutton over the next few years... (famous last words).

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Keeping a ram
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2022, 10:49:51 am »
Our Nigel is a pedigree Shetland, but he has no "off" season.  He had sired August and October lambs before I discovered this...  On an Icelandic / Shetland / Texel mix and a pedigree Wensleydale (August lambs in both cases) and a pure Manx Loaghtan (October lamb.)  So unless all your girls are kept lambing every year, personally I would not bank on any tup having no interest in sex come springtime... ;) 
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

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Keeping a ram
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2022, 11:08:09 am »
Like the others have said, my rams are out of sight of the ewes for 46 weeks of the year  :roflanim:  Iíd not keep them next to the ewes, they need distance really. 

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Keeping a ram
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2022, 11:40:24 am »
Our Nigel is a pedigree Shetland, but he has no "off" season.  He had sired August and October lambs before I discovered this...  On an Icelandic / Shetland / Texel mix and a pedigree Wensleydale (August lambs in both cases) and a pure Manx Loaghtan (October lamb.)  So unless all your girls are kept lambing every year, personally I would not bank on any tup having no interest in sex come springtime... ;)

Our Soay ram is definitely interested all year round! He's constantly sniffing the wethers just to see if they've magically changed sex overnight!

Nelson International

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Keeping a ram
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2022, 06:27:16 pm »
It sounds like if you've got the land you'd be best keeping them out of sight, but we kept a pair of Welsh mountain rams next to our ewes for a 2 or 3 years, and the only oops moment was when the neighbour's ram lamb broke in. They were purchased as lambs,  they were never that fussed about getting in but still got the job done come November

 

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