Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,533 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys and gals,

Now that I have Gable in with the ewes, I was wondering about why people separate their rams?

Is it because it's easier to handle the ewes?

Or perhaps for reasons of keeping the ewes from breeding back too soon?

Hmmm?
 

·
In memoriam
Joined
·
79,016 Posts
Many do it to control when the lambs will be born.
Also, Rams can be agressive and it's often safer to keep them seperated.
My Dorpers can go into heat at any time, so if I left the Ram in, I would be having lambs year round.
It's easier to me to have them born in groups, planned around times when the pastures are growing well
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,533 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK, I guess I can understand that. When I ran Dall sheep, the rams stayed with the flock year-round, but the lambs came in the spring, pretty much.

Since the Dorpers are out of season breeders, how soon after a ewe lambs will she come back in season?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
953 Posts
I remove my adult rams from the ewe flock because...

1. SAFTEY- I want to be able to work with the ewes and lambs without having to worry about being injured by a ram. (None of mine are known butters but I NEVER trust them 100% and am always cautious around them.)

2. ECONOMICS- Because I usually get quite a few triplets and quads I supplement the nursing ewes so that they can produce enough milk to nurse their lambs instead of ME having to bottle feed them. The rams don't require the supplement and it would be a waste of money to have them eating it.

3. FLOCK MANAGEMENT PREFERENCE -I TRY to control when my lambs are born. ( Key word here is 'TRY'. See another post of mine, "Pretty cute for a mistake". :D) Most of my ewes cycle year round and could be popping out lambs every 6 - 8 months if I left the adult rams in with the girls year round. That is tough on me, and on the ewes. It requires the need for intensive management practices that go beyond what I have the time, or desire, to provide. I like having one lambing season that is planned around family and school obligations.

I usually have 2 or more rams around at a time so when they are seperated from the ewes they still have company. (The pet wether, Ken, is also put in with them once the supplementing begins.)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,533 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmmm, so as I just added the ram to the ewes Dec. 23rd, I could pull him along with any ram lambs born in the end of May. The ewes could possibly have Nov. lambs.....

Looks like you would start a month later each year that way.

I don't have any wethers....would horses be adequate company?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
953 Posts
We only have one horse. Because she is a founder risk, she is not let out to pasture 100% of the time. Now that she has a grazing muzzel she can spend more time out. She is put into the ram pasture. They all get along great. But she is a very tolerant mare and doesn't mind the boys rubbing on her, walking under her, sniffing her behind.... I'm sure it depends on the horses one has.

Years ago we had a ram that was best buds with the neighbor's gelding. One day the ram got into the neighbor's pasture. All was well between the two until the gelding got spooked at something and ran off bucking. He accidently kicked the ram on the side of the head and knocked him silly. I thought he had killed the ram but, thankfully, once he got up he was ok. His cheek area did swell to twice it's size but there was no lasting damage.

You should be looking for lambs starting to drop around May 17th since you put your ram in with them 12-23, assuming he began covering them right away. If it were me, I'd leave him there until the end of March then move him out. That gives him plenty of time to have covered all the ewes, then some. Then you can safely walk amoung your pregnant ewes and keep an eye on them without having to watch your back.

Even though having a buddy is best, they do ok without, too. My rams are only seperated from my ewes by a cattle panel fence. They can always see and smell each other if they want to. I've been lucky and have never had a ram that tried to jump of ram the fence. Other folks haven't been. It depends on your animals. You are the best judge of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,428 Posts
We separate our ram 1 month before lambing untill the nezt winters breeding starts.
Why risk getting rammed from behind while you are caring for your ewes and lambs?
 

·
sheep & antenna farming
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
We keep a Katahdin wether back every year as a ram buddy and freezer candidate. We lamb the Kats in mid-April and the woollies starting a week or so later. When the woolies are sheared in March, all the rams get separated and go back to their bachelor pasture with the wether. Haven't had any problems so far but I like having the wether all trained in case we have to separate one of the rams.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
953 Posts
Oh, yes! It is always a great to have a "Judas" sheep to help move the others around if need be. We have a couple. One is a wether that we bottle raised and didn't have the heart to send to Camp Don't-Come-Back and the other is a ewe that thinks she is a dog. (She is being bred this year and I'm anxious to see how she does. I'm betting that she will be a horrible mother. I hope I'm wrong!)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,533 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmmm,

Well, I plan on moving the sheep to the new farm in April. I could see how the ram gets along with 4 horses then. The ewes will be electronetted down along the creek for the summer, so no sharing of fencelines.

I wouldn't want to keep a ram alone. This one hasn't shown ANY aggression so far, so hopefully he'll get along with the horses until I can raise a wether for a companion.

BING! Idea! DD wants a wool sheep--Maybe I'll find a nice shetland wether for her and for Gable. (the ram)
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top