Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: When to separate whole tups from the flock.  (Read 1744 times)


  • Joined Sep 2018
When to separate whole tups from the flock.
« on: September 03, 2018, 03:18:29 pm »
Hi all,

We have a small flock of Herdwicks. This year was our first time lambing and we luckily only had 2 male lambs. We plan to sell them at a rare breed sale near us in October but my question is when we should separate them from the rest of the sheep to stop them breeding with their mother and the other lambs. I am planning to do it this afternoon but is that unnecessarily early?

Many thanks


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: When to separate whole tups from the flock.
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2018, 09:32:21 am »

Depends when they were born, but I always think better safe then sorry. However if they have not been used to hard feed their weight may take a down turn as they will be stressed.

If you are new to breeding - are you aiming to sell these lambs on as breeding stock? Unless impeccable pedigree it would be unlikely that you get good money for them, so be prepared for them to go into the meat chain - rare breed pedigree sales are good for meat buyers, as smallholders in particular need to get rid of stock due to limited grazing and often have to sell at really low prices…

In my first few years of breeding (and still now) I wether all male lambs (I have Shetlands) and sell for meat in their second summer at around 16 months, after a winter on hay and the occasional booster lick.


  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: When to separate whole tups from the flock.
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2018, 10:25:40 am »
I have heard of reports from a few people of ewes coming into season earlier than usual this year .... maybe the unusual weather has had an effect?


  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: When to separate whole tups from the flock.
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2018, 10:58:55 am »
My Rams are in with the ewes now and I expect them to of worked already. I think early Aug is the latest I'd be happy to separate. I leave ram and ewe lambs together for a bit longer.


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: When to separate whole tups from the flock.
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2018, 11:20:30 am »
My remaining ewe never lambed before May, so I left her 2 male lambs in, one entire, with a view to running him with the ewe lambs Oct/Nov. But the goats are in season early this year, hoping the ewes didn't start early and the boy had his wicked way, can't do with January lambs up here ?.
Boys are caught as one had strike, so now keeping separated (after the horse has bolted?)


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: When to separate whole tups from the flock.
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2018, 01:58:22 pm »
We separate out our entire male lambs at 4 months.  You can if you are prepared to take a risk of unwanted pregnancy leave them to five months, but at 4 months they don't really notice the separation, and the ewes still have their ewe lambs with them. 
What this means practically is that, if you leave your tup in with the ewes in the autumn for 4 weeks, then the ewes will lamb within 4 weeks of eachother.  The actual date for tupping depends on the breed and whereabouts you live.  We tup in November in the south of Scotland, and lamb in April once the grass starts to grow. We separate out the entire tup lambs when the youngest is 4 months, so late August.  We've never had unwanted lambs from that timing.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 02:01:46 pm by Fleecewife »
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  • Joined Mar 2014
  • lower whitley
Re: When to separate whole tups from the flock.
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2018, 03:00:55 pm »
Make sure the fence between them is very secure. I know that as one of our ram lambs this year squeezed through a gap I never saw. We found him looking very smug in with the ladies!  Need to sort time off work to lamb in January now!!


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