How do I keep a ram?

Ewenicorn

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I recently got 4 ewes and a ram, all lambs still. I know when he hits the 3-4 month mark he has to be separated but I know I can't keep him alone. I don't know the best situation to have him in once he's separated because I have also been told keeping rams together is a bad idea. I want to breed him with the ewes next year so I don't want to get rid of him.
 

Roving Jacobs

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I currently have 6 adult rams and 6 ram lambs (and 1 wether) together and they all get along fine. Introductions are the tricky part but not usually an issue when introducing baby rams. In your situation I would get him a wether (castrated male) buddy instead though. Keep them far enough from the ewes that you don't risk fence jumping or busting the place down to get to them and make sure you can feed from over a fence if possible. I prefer to keep a fence between me and my boys whenever possible, even though they're all well behaved, because you just can never truly trust a ram not to be a ram.
 

secuono

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What breed?
Get him a castrated friend of similar age.
He may be able to be in with everyone during breeding as well, if the ram is mellow enough. So won't need yet another wether to keep the first company during breeding season.
 

Ewenicorn

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What breed?
Get him a castrated friend of similar age.
He may be able to be in with everyone during breeding as well, if the ram is mellow enough. So won't need yet another wether to keep the first company during breeding season.
He is a dorper/katahdin mix just like all my ewes.
 

Sheepshape

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Sheep (either sex) don't thrive if they are alone as they are flock animals. Ram lambs can be fertile from very early on (3-4 months), but ewe lambs rarely come into season before 6 months and usually after 9 months. Another ram lamb or a wether to keep him company if you are going to separate off soon would be the best idea. Rams make friends for life.
 

Beekissed

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You can have him wear a ram apron for most of the year but separate him out of the ewes a month prior to the actual breeding date....completely away from the ewes where they can't smell one another. Then, let him breed them and he can run with them for the next 5 mo. without his apron. When you get a ram lamb, wether him so your ram will have a companion then.
 

Ridgetop

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Are these sheep to produce meat for your table and occasionally to sell? Do you plan to have them breed all year round (need a barn or shelter during the winter) or are you only set up for spring and summer lambing (no shelters).
If you plan to have lambs all year round, once the ewes are old enough to breed you can leave him with the ewes all the time. No buddy needed that you have to feed. On the other hand, if you plan to separate him for annual breeding, then a buddy would be a good thing. Not another ram, because that ram would need to be penned separately while breeding the first one. A wether would be best, since he can run with the flock during breeding.

If you plan to run the ram with the sheep year round, your choices get even easier and more economical, not to mention tastier! Buy a young wether to grow out for meat this year. Put him in with the ram lamb. By the time he goes in your freezer, the ewes are old enough to breed and you can turn the ram in with them. Next year after they lamb, choose one of your own ram lambs, castrate it to raise for your freezer again, and put him in with the ram when you keep the ram apart from the ewes before the et breeding season.
 

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