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Author Topic: When can my ewes and rams mix again?  (Read 2587 times)


  • Joined Oct 2010
  • South Northamptonshire
When can my ewes and rams mix again?
« on: February 13, 2014, 02:54:41 pm »
I have a couple of ewe lambs born April 2013.  I didn't want them tupped in their first autumn so they were moved away from the rams before the usual seasonal activity started!

I understand that the ewe's breeding cycle is triggered by shortening days etc as autumn appears but when is it 'safe' to let ewe lambs mix with tups again without risking a late pregnancy?

No pressing urgency, I'm just planning the musical chairs around the various little paddocks etc...


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: When can my ewes and rams mix again?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2014, 03:02:40 pm »
Yeoman, I am in exactly the same position as you with 2 ewe lambs born last April. I am no expert but am sure I heard that, unless you are prepared for an unplanned pregnancy, then you can't mix them.
I am sure someone with greater knowledge than me will be along soon to put us both right.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits


  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: When can my ewes and rams mix again?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2014, 03:08:16 pm »
I think it would depend on how seasonal your particular breed are, and how far north you live (i.e. how long your days are).

Personally I don't have this problem as I mate my ewe lambs, but if I didn't I would be happy to merge them back again after the other ewes have finished lambing, so at the start of April. (this is in South Wales, with BWM sheep)  Maybe even before, at the start of lambing, so the start of March for me.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: When can my ewes and rams mix again?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2014, 03:19:15 pm »
Ours stay separated after their first Autumn. 


  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: When can my ewes and rams mix again?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2014, 04:00:59 pm »
I wouldn't want to say it was safe as such at any time, but some breeds are strongly seasonal breeders eg. bwm and others breed all year eg. Charmoise. Crossbreds are somewhere in between.


  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: When can my ewes and rams mix again?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2014, 06:49:16 pm »
My ram stayed with the flock the whole year.  One year I had a very small triplet late born ewe lamb.  Thought she would never take so wasnt worried.  In August I looked in the field one day and there she was with a lamb.
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  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Cornhill, Banff
    • The Roundhouse
Re: When can my ewes and rams mix again?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2014, 09:15:42 am »
Many years ago in my early days of shepherding, I used to leave the tup with the flock all year too, until one year I had lambs born in October! .
 I couldn't believe it as the only time the tup had access to the ewe in question was for a couple of days after she had given birth. I saw him smelling her but I thought he was confused by her birth hormones. After he started being coarse with her lambs I decided he had to be moved out and he stayed out all summer. In late September I thought the ewe had got so fat that if I didn't know better I would have said she was pregnant - call me stupid, because I even thought she was walking and behaving like a pregnant ewe, and still the penny didn't drop!
On October 3rd a neighbour knocked on the door and said, 'did you know you have two black lambs in the field?'
I thought she must be looking at a molehill, but went out to look anyway and, sure enough, there they were.
Now I don't believe in a specific season and manage my tup accordingly. It's probably a long shot but it can happen.
Permaculture and smallholding, perfect partners


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • South Shropshire
  • A country lass who loves it all!
Re: When can my ewes and rams mix again?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2014, 04:32:13 pm »
We put the Tups in around October until we start lambing around about march if we're wanting to lamb those ewes. But after that the boys are in fields on their own, unless their cull 1s which we'll put with cull ewes. But bearing in mind we run 300-400 sheep so have around 6-12 Tups to keep each other company & they rarely fight x


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