Hollowing out? Maybe? Im bad at this lol

purplequeenvt

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I'm thinking that is what we are going to have to do. We don't have banding equipment and I hear they put on weight better when they aren't castrated. I have to make a decision here soon who I'm going to keep of my ram lambs as the sire for the next generation. The first born looks like he is going to be a real beast but my bottle lamb could be great too but he is still young yet. Just going to have to wait and see. The nice thing is the two older ram lambs are not related to anyone currently in my herd so no mating back to moms.
Given how new you are to sheep, I would highly recommend NOT keeping your bottle ram lamb intact/using him as a breeding ram. Bottle rams are notoriously badly behaved as breeding rams because they didn’t learn to respect humans the way a normal ram would. It’s too easy to turn them into monsters.

Personally, I wouldn’t hesitate to use a bottle ram as my breeding ram, (provided that he was raised by me) but I have 20 years of sheep experience.
 

Sheepshape

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I don't have a problem with bottle lambs becoming breeding rams....but you have to carefully assess the personality of the ram lamb. Part nature, part nurture, they say, but it always seems to me that the inherent nature of the animal is the key. You can only work with whatever raw material you have.

Here's Dexter.

Dexter.jpg


All muscle, sweet nature.

Dexter (1).jpg


Dexter is 3 years old, was bottle reared, and is a total sweetheart. Still loves to be hugged and never aggressive, even when he has his 'harem'. A real gentleman around the ladies, too.

He is already father to about 150 lambs.
 

Baymule

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Both @purplequeenvt and @Sheepshape are long time very well qualified shepherds. They know their sheep, they know their natures and they know how to raise them. They both are outstanding members here on BYH. When they offer advice, listen carefully.

I started with Dorper cross bred sheep and still have cross bred sheep, a mix of Dorper and Katahdin. I am moving more in the Katahdin sheep because I like their nature. It goes back to what Sheepshape said about their nature. We drove to Tennessee to get Ringo from Mike CHS because of his nature. He is a sweetheart, loves attention, loves to be brushed, loves treats and just loves to be the center of attention. I have little granddaughters and I sure didn't want them anywhere near the Dorper ram. He hit me every chance he got. I will eventually get a few registered Katahdin ewes, but I will keep my starter ewes until they go to that big green grassy sheep pasture in the sky.
 

Sheepshape

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Baymule.....you are too kind. However, experience does help a lot. Most of what I know I learnt from old shepherds in the area, but YouTube videos and fora such as this are a priceless source of knowledge.

Thankfully folk on this site don't adopt that horrid attitude of 'What, so you don't know what to do about ....."(supply you own sentence end)....that attitude is SO unhelpful, pointless and just plain nasty. Why should anyone know the ins and outs of an animal that they have just started to care for?

So, for anyone scared to ask 'cos you may feel foolish.......NO YOU WILL NOT.....ask away, and learn as we have all had to learn. Every year I learn quite a few new things, and also learn how little I know about some things!
 

Baymule

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I've only had sheep for 5 years. During that time, I have learned innovative ways to kill several out of ignorance. If I can pass on what I have learned, I am always happy to do so, but mostly my sheep have been healthy, given birth with little to no problems and I have not had the problems that surface when farming. My sheep are tough, despite my best efforts, they are surviving just fine. LOL LOL
 

Ridgetop

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Definitely send bottle baby to freezer camp for a above reasons. Bottle fed rams can be dangerous unless they are trained properly to behave with their owners. All dairy goat bucks are bottle babies too but they have a definite rutting season. However, if not properly trained they can be dangerous as can stud horses and bulls if not properly handled. Rams are often nasty year round. We had one that was a definite killer. Our other rams are docile and easy going but I never turn my back on a ram when I am in the pen. We have 3 breeding rams now and they are fairly easy to handle. Mama raised rams learn their place from mama and the others in the flock. you have to teach your bottle baby that he is not a person, and can't play with you. You need to discipline him if he tries to jump on you or butt you. you should also halter break him. Unfortunately bottle lambs and kids are so darn cute that people tend to forget how big they will get until they have allowed them to learn bad habits. Even hen keeping bottle raised ewe lambs, you need to train them in good behavior.

That said, I would still put him in the freezer You just got some nice new sheep and you want to keep the best ram lamb you have for that. The bottle lamb is not the best one to keep. My main reason for not keeping him is that he is a bottle baby because his mama didn't make enough milk to raise him! If his mama didn't produce enough milk to feed him, why would you consider breeding that low milk yield trait into your flock?

So, when choosing which of your other 2 ram lambs to keep, remember that you want a long ram, with lots of length in the loin - the distance between the hip and the ribs. Then you want one that is wide across the loin. And finally you want one that has a thick, meaty rump and leg with the meat carried well down the leg into the twist.. Those are the main areas where all the meat is, so choose wisely. If one has a gentle docile temperament while the other is wild and crazy, that would also come into the equation.

Next year keep all the ewe lambs, and save up for a good Dorper ram that is carrying lots of meat, from a fertile line with lots of milk and good mothering ability. The ram is half the herd, don't keep one just because he is your baby or you love him. Go for the meat. Of course, if the 2 lambs are equal, go for the cute one! ;) :hugs
 

Fluffy_Flock

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Definitely send bottle baby to freezer camp for a above reasons. Bottle fed rams can be dangerous unless they are trained properly to behave with their owners. All dairy goat bucks are bottle babies too but they have a definite rutting season. However, if not properly trained they can be dangerous as can stud horses and bulls if not properly handled. Rams are often nasty year round. We had one that was a definite killer. Our other rams are docile and easy going but I never turn my back on a ram when I am in the pen. We have 3 breeding rams now and they are fairly easy to handle. Mama raised rams learn their place from mama and the others in the flock. you have to teach your bottle baby that he is not a person, and can't play with you. You need to discipline him if he tries to jump on you or butt you. you should also halter break him. Unfortunately bottle lambs and kids are so darn cute that people tend to forget how big they will get until they have allowed them to learn bad habits. Even hen keeping bottle raised ewe lambs, you need to train them in good behavior.

That said, I would still put him in the freezer You just got some nice new sheep and you want to keep the best ram lamb you have for that. The bottle lamb is not the best one to keep. My main reason for not keeping him is that he is a bottle baby because his mama didn't make enough milk to raise him! If his mama didn't produce enough milk to feed him, why would you consider breeding that low milk yield trait into your flock?

So, when choosing which of your other 2 ram lambs to keep, remember that you want a long ram, with lots of length in the loin - the distance between the hip and the ribs. Then you want one that is wide across the loin. And finally you want one that has a thick, meaty rump and leg with the meat carried well down the leg into the twist.. Those are the main areas where all the meat is, so choose wisely. If one has a gentle docile temperament while the other is wild and crazy, that would also come into the equation.

Next year keep all the ewe lambs, and save up for a good Dorper ram that is carrying lots of meat, from a fertile line with lots of milk and good mothering ability. The ram is half the herd, don't keep one just because he is your baby or you love him. Go for the meat. Of course, if the 2 lambs are equal, go for the cute one! ;) :hugs
So he turned into a bottle baby at almost 3 weeks when his mom died suddenly. She was old and had a heart attack when we caught her to vaccinate and worm her. I will get some good pictures of my two rams so you can see what I'm working with. I like the idea of halter training him. I definitely hear what everyone is saying loud and clear but the only reason I'm not quick to make that decision is because my bottle ram is quite gorgeous and I think of the two has better genetcs and proportions. I would really like to continue his line in my flock.
 
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