Rams, how many yrs fertile?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Caelma, May 23, 2005.

  1. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering up to what ages is a ram useful for breeding?
    Not to a point of hit or miss, but regular productivity?

    How about ewes als?
     
  2. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    you really have to test your rams for viability, things like injury and loss of sperm production can affect even very young rams. we did have one ram that at ten still sired his quota , a gentle bear of a ram the others would try and push him around but not get far!! also have had one ballers that messed up breeding dates.
     

  3. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    Ok well let me ask this.
    is a 6 y/o ram getting to old?
    Or do most have another good 2 yr. left at that
    age on average?
    Is 6 old for a ram?
     
  4. Polly in NNY

    Polly in NNY Well-Known Member

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    Six years is not old, but it also depends on the breed. I have an 8 year old Jacob ram that still does all that I ask of him ;)
     
  5. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Commercially a 6 year old ram - or bull - is considered past his use by date unless he's a pedigree stud. However, we're not commercial farmers and I have just sent my 6 year old ram off to my sisters. He did the job last year and covered all of my 26 ewes and they consequently all produced lambs. My sister tells me he's been very busy since she's had him. The oldest I've had a ram was 10 and he was still producing lambs from all his ewes.

    I've had ewes as old at 12 produce lambs and twins at that, but you do have to be a bit careful. At that age, depending on the type of country they have been grazing, their teeth can be almost non-existant which means keeping them on the very best feed you have available. While an aged ewe can often produce the lambs, she doesn't always have the resources to carry on to produce the milk to feed them.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie