Bred? Not Bred??

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by HesterDaddy, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. HesterDaddy

    HesterDaddy Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2004
    I have a pair of Romanovs. The ewe I bought as an adult 2 years ago and at the same time bought the ram as a lamb. They had good records and the ewe has given birth before. The ram has grown up to be one of the best animals I have and the two of them have been "going at it" for a couple of years now... still no pregnancy. Until this past May they were in with some goats and the billy kept them all miserable and competed with the ram. Also the ewe had been in need of a SERIOUS shearing, so... goats are gone... ewe was sheared thinking that her large matted wool on her flanks could have been a barrier as well.

    She was starting to look pretty fat here, recently, and I was beginning to feel sure she must be finally pregnant now that they have no goat interference and the ram has "clear access." However, yesterday she appeared to be in heat again and he was mounting her right and left. At the risk of sounding completely ingorant I have a few questions:

    1. Would he still mount her in this manner if she was pregnant?
    2. How can I tell if she gets pregnant or not? Is there and e.p.t. for sheep?
    3. If all indications are that she is probably NOT pregnant... what could be the problem?

    I greatly appreciate any thoughts you'd be willing to share.

  2. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    I have one romanov ewe that is extremely plump and she has never lambed. Everyone "in the know" that I have spoken to has said that she won't breed while she's so fat. She and one other are now on a weight loss plan (second try ~ only partially successful last year spring grass is not condusive to good weight loss. :( ) So I'm seriously hoping for a lamb next Spring. I have not seen any of the rams even think about entertaining these two ewes, though. I don't know the science behind it but that's been my experience.

  3. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2004
    Washington State
    Certainly not the voice of experience here, but as Catherine stated, weight can be an issue. People do what is called flushing, where they start with a ewe who is trim in the summer, then as breeding time approaches they begin to feed them up a bit, which should help (or so I've read) with fertility.

    The ram we used last year spent 4 months with us. I was concerned that he'd been unsuccessful as he did continue to mount the ewes his entire visit (although not with quite the enthusiasm you describe!) However, one of the ewes had managed to take the first week they'd been together. So yes, there can still be some activity.

    Occasionally you get a sheep that just doesn't have good fertility. Since the ewe has lambed before, perhaps it's the ram? Sorry I can't offer you any more than this...perhaps Ross or someone will have more information for you!