katahdin breeding

shp123

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Hi all, this is my first post on this site. We are new sheep owners with no prior experience. We added a small herd of 4 katahdin to our homestead just before Christmas, 3 ewes and a ram. Two of the ewes have given birth to two female lambs. We are expecting the big ewe to birth twins. All three ewes were bred by the ram. We have been keeping the ram with the girls and the babies now.

We are wondering if and when we should separate the ram from the rest of the herd. We read that katahdins are sexually active (not sure if this is the right term) during the entire year unlike some other breeds that would come in heat only in the fall. We prefer not to bred the young yearlings that were just born in January. But we are also worry about the additional work and complexity for separate paddocks, 2 set of water and feeders. And do we let the ram stay with the older ewes in the fall for a couple of months in the fall and separate the yearlings? How bad is it if the yearlings get bred by their father?

We need advise please...
 

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Greetings and welcome to BYH from NE TX! So glad you joined us. We do have some really good Sheeple here as well. @Baymule or @Mike CHS might have some pointers for you.There's a wealth of info, knowledge and experience shared in the multitude of threads. Browse around and see what interesting stuff you can find. You'll get to "meet" folks at the same time. By all means post away when the desire strikes you, especially if you have questions (provide as much detail/info as possible and pictures truly help)... With all the great folks here, generally someone will respond in no time at all. Oh, and we all love pics, so post them anytime you feel the need! Please make yourself at home!

PLEASE put at least your general location in your profile. It could be very important if/when you ask for or offer help or advice. You know, climate issues and such. I recommend at least your state as most folks won't be able to figure out where if you put anything more specific (county, town, street, etc) by itself. Old folks like me will never remember from this post & look there first. To add it, mouse hover over Account top right and a drop down will appear. Click on Personal Details and scan down. You'll see the spot for Location. Then go to the bottom and save changes. Thanks! Hope you enjoy the site!
 

Baymule

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Yes you will have to build a separate pen for the ram, with a separate shelter and extra feeder and water. You will have to build yet another pen for weaning the lambs. If you have ram lambs, you will have to castrate them as they have been known to breed as early as 2 months old. Or if you keep the lamb as a ram, then wean at two months and keep in a separate pen. And you were worried about having to build more than one pen?

If the ewe lambs get bred by their father, it should be ok. Don't keep any of the lambs to breed back to him again.

You can breed the ewe lambs at 9 months to 1 year of age.
 

shp123

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Thank you both for the reply. What would you say the minimal size for the pen? Our pasture is only two acres divided into 2 paddocks separated by 4 feet high t-post wire fence. So they are in plain sight of each other. Also, how bad would it be to keep him on its own?

Thanks again.
 

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As with most herd animals, they are most comfy in a group but as long as they can see each other and talk through the fence, they should be fine. Right now I'd be worried that the new mommas will get immediately re-bred right back since they just had lambs. Now isn't a real good time to have the ram with them (just for that reason) I don't think... Generally this puts a huge stress/load on them. Better to let them rear and wean these lambs then have a little to recover body mass/score before breeding again. I think I would make a dry lot/small area to hold/keep the rams in and then make several smaller pastures I could rotate the sheep through for parasite prevention. You could always then let the rams/wethers out into one of the other pastures away from the ewes if you really wanted to.
 

Baymule

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As your flock grows, you may need to change rams. Depending on how big you want to grow, you might keep your ram's daughters, but sell or slaughter the lambs resulting from breeding him to his daughters. A small flock can give you plenty of meat for the freezer.
 

shp123

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Mission accomplished! We spent the good part of the day setting up the other paddock and the barn and isolated the ram. He is separated from the ewes and lambs until the fall when his service is needed again. Hopefully the new moms are not already pregnant. Thanks for all the advice.
 

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Can you share some pics? Greatly appreciated if you would. We all love pics here! :)
 

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Beautiful animals! Thanks for sharing the pics! :clap
 
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