companion needed for ram?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by russellsmom, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. russellsmom

    russellsmom Well-Known Member

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    I'm starting to look around for a ram for my girls. One place offered to rent a ram, but for the difference in price between outright buying and renting I'm further ahead to just buy. If i find I need to purchase a friend for the ram, maybe I'd be better off renting though.
    And if the ram does need a best buddy, what would suffice? Would it have to be another wethered sheep? I have read about rams that have attacked and killed buck goats, but would it attack a wether goat? The only reason I ask is because I've got two little buck kids who will be banded and if one of them would be a good companion and save me from buying a wethered sheep that'd be wonderful. If however he'd use the wether as a battering ram, well I wouldn't want that to happen.
    The place where I'd keep the ram would allow him to see the ewes at all times whether they are on the pasture or in the barnyard, so I also wonder if just seeing the others would make him happy?
     
  2. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Certainly no expert...but here's what I've experienced so far. I was lent a ram (the folks I bought the ewes from have offered his services at no charge.) He was kept in the pasture with the three ewes I wanted bred, with my ewe lamb from this spring seperated in a pretty sturdy dog kennel. The ram pushed right through the chain link to get to her and breed her. So...first off, if your ram is within sight/smell, then you'll want to be super certain he's got a fence that prevents him pushing his way through.

    I just bought my first ram lamb and was told by the breeder that she always keeps a wether with her rams as a buddy as they're herd animals and happy when they've got a friend. I would guess that it would depend on the temperment of the particular individual as to whether or not he'd use your goats as toys to bang about. If he were raised with them, and they're older, then he'd start out at the bottom of the pecking order and not be likely to challenge their authority (that is...if sheep are like other animals!)
     

  3. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    My goats and sheep butt each other as a matter of course, but they all do get along well. Both the sheep and goats give as good as they get. I'd say in general your wetherd goat would be fine with the ram.
     
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Rams need less companionship than ewes, in general. There may be some shoving but with my limited goat experience it would be the goats butting the ram! Unless you need easy access to a ram and can't rent to suit your schedule, I'd rent and save the costs of up keep and risk to near zero.
     
  5. russellsmom

    russellsmom Well-Known Member

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    Personally I'd prefer to rent, but the cost of the rent is half of what it'd cost to buy the ram outright that's why I have thought I'd be better off just buying one. Plus I'm afraid something bad would happen to the ram while it was here, it'd just be my kind of luck!
    I was wondering about the butting issue. The ewes are in with the does at the moment and while the does do fight each other they generally leave the ewes alone. I have found bucks to be constantly butting things, so I can certainly see where a buck and a ram would be a disaster, but my wether that's in with the girls now does not do a whole lot of butting.
     
  6. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Generally the males will butt each other and humans when the girls are in season. We keep our own buck but separate because he hogs all the food. We don't have sheep yet but it would be helpful to keep your own ram. It can bring the ewes in heat sooner if he is around.
     
  7. SmokedCow

    SmokedCow Well-Known Member

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    we have always had a ewe who lost her lamb....the later lambers with the ram. Our neighbor once had alot of sheep...and he had 3 bucks....well one died and he had to sell the other, Took the one ram to market...bad leg or somthing...came back and the other was no more! His brother said the animal wouldn't can it! He layed down and died!!
    AJ