Youngest ram you have used?

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Youngest ram you have used?

Postby Saffronsheepranch » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:44 pm

I was curious what is the youngest ram you have used who got all his ewes?
I have never dared use a ram lamb yet, not even with a back up and now I may have to use a 6 month old on about 20 ewe lambs and yearlings.
Granted he is a Finn and I probably shouldn't doubt him since 90% of my ewe lambs lamb at 11-12 months but I have no experience trusting something that young. Might put on a harness but there is nobody to back him up if he fails.

What company sells a good harness? I have one but I swear it came made wrong with a twisted belt to it. We tried to put it on the ram, then we stopped and tried it on the dog and then we put it back on the ram twisted funny and let it go.

Kirsten Wendt

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Re: Youngest ram you have used?

Postby DonDrewry » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:39 am

I don't know if there's been a year we haven't used a ram lamb as part of our battery. This year half of our rams are ram lambs. Every once in a while when we sell mature rams we find ourselves in a year we only use ram lambs. I've sold ram lambs to people that were planning to use them on over 50 ewes. We've never had one cover more than 40 ewes mostly because I like to use a greater variety of rams more than a concern about not covering them all.

When we use ram lambs
- Age - at 6 months age we consider them breedable. We usually start lambing in January and we'll routinely use Feb ram lambs and occcasionally will use March ram lambs.
- Condition - they are in good condition before they go in with the ewes
- Harness - Pipestone vet harness works. A few years ago we bought one advertised by Premier Fence for goats and small ram lambs. We couldn't keep that one on the ram.
Don Drewry

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Re: Youngest ram you have used?

Postby woolpuller » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:35 am

I use 2 ram lambs (6-7 months old)and 1 yearly ram and split 30 ewes each. For ewe lambs I use the yearling ram.
high performance, high health, high biosecurity, a truly closed Suffolk Flock

Kathy Lewis
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Re: Youngest ram you have used?

Postby Kathy Lewis » Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:11 am

The youngest ram we (accidently) had settle ewes was 130 days old. He settled a lot before we discovered him but don't remember exactly how many. It set him back for quite a while......I don't think he ate at all while out there.

We use selected ram lambs on groups of ewe lambs - about 25 ewe lambs each. We had six of these groups last year....ram lambs all successful. This is at the end of the breeding season so most are 8 to 9 months old. We limit breeding with ram lambs to 35 days....two cycles assuming all are cycling.

In your case to avoid any dry ewes you might want to back up the ram lamb by following with another ram after waiting a week. I'd forget the breeding harness on the ram lamb but observe to make sure he's showing interest.
Kathy Lewis
White Dorpers with Lambplan EBVs

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Re: Youngest ram you have used?

Postby Northfield » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:58 am

I used an early March-born NCC ram lamb to breed a handful of ewes in late September. He settled all of his ewes right away. I put raddle marker on him instead of a harness, but I wasn't concerned about any of the fleeces, figuring I'd just compost those. I was more concerned about getting the ewes bred. I kept that group on the best feed I had, and made sure the little guy didn't loose too much condition. At a year old now, he's massive. I did turn them in with an older ram after two cycles, just in case.

I got my start in sheep when a late-born ram lamb (probably May) snuck through & bred a bunch of ewe lambs in October. These were Katahdin & Dorper crosses.
Northfield Farm
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Re: Youngest ram you have used?

Postby lovetree » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:00 am

4 month old romney cross bred 12 ewes in half an hour, in late August.
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
home of the dual purpose Trade Lake Sheep and the nationally celebrated Trade Lake Cedar Cheese
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