Breeding Season Challenges

09 Oct
October 9, 2012

First it was hot weather in July and early August that reduced ram fertility. Then a lingering leg injury to our lead stud ram forced 3 of our ram lambs into service in addition to leasing a ram from a friend. Finally, a busted fence resulted in the mixing of two groups of ewes – fortunately I was able to separate the rams before serious injury occurred. It looks like these challenges will result in a very drawn out lambing season for us, with a few early January lambs, a few more late January lambs, a lot of February lambs, and some stragglers coming well into March (as we still have a few unmarked ewes). It shouldn’t take 2+ months to lamb out 40 ewes, but it sure seems like that is what we are in for.

Lessons learned (again):

1) Always have more rams on hand than you think you will need.
2) Pay extra attention to the rams’ hooves prior to breeding season.
3) Taking a ram to a fair in July when the weather is hot is not conducive
to early season fertility.
4) A wire panel secured with twine will not keep 2 mature rams separated
when ewes are in heat.

Hopefully, breeding season has gone (or will go) more smoothly on your farm than it has
on ours.

Happy Shepherding!

 

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