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Ram Training

Discussion in 'Behaviors & Handling Techniques - Sheep' started by WolfeMomma, May 10, 2018.

  1. May 10, 2018
    WolfeMomma

    WolfeMomma Overrun with beasties

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    We have a 2 month old Katahdin Ram, he is very skittish right now but we have been trying to work on training him to a halter and lead etc. Any advice? I would like to make sure that he is used to being handled by the time he gets big. I don't want to end up with something very aggressive that can be lead around.
     
  2. May 13, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    @Sheepshape @mysunwolf and I'm sure there are others. I have no experience but from reading know that rams can be very dangerous as adults. You should not touch or push against there foreheads as that is I guess a "challenge" to them that can lead to ramming behavior.
     
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  3. May 13, 2018
    mysunwolf

    mysunwolf True BYH Addict

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    Like you I usually halter or collar train. All my rams will become pushy around 1-2years regardless of what I do or which genetics they're from, but if you've halter trained them first then at least you can tie them to something while you work in the field. This is what we do. I've never met a ram that isn't a little pushy or threatening in some way by the time he turns 2 years.
     
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  4. May 13, 2018
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    I started with bred ewes, so didn’t have to deal with that right off the bat. I bought a ram, used him for two lambings, named him Ramburger and that is what he is now. Yum.

    I have a ram lamb I bred, he is about to turn 5 months. His name is Speckles. I like the halter training idea. @mysunwolf you always have good ideas. Guess I need to order some Sheep halters.
     
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  5. May 14, 2018
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape True BYH Addict

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    Train them early and accept no nonsense. When ram lambs hit puberty they can become a seething mass of testosterone, and if so, they have to know who is Boss. I currently have a flock let of 2 month old ram lambs. They gang together (think street corner or seedy park). There they start jostling, milling around, mounting each other and head butting. When the 'circle' starts up, ram lambs who are not amongst 'The Gang' start coming from the periphery, jumping up and spoiling for a fight. Eventually it breaks up when one of them runs, jumping and bleating, and The Gang run around the periphery of the field, being joined by the ewe lams. If I had an internet speed over ).2, I'd video it! Suffice it to say, this is not what you want.

    Train early and be consistent....don't put up with any shows of aggression.I have no knowledge of Katahdin sheep, but some ram breeds are much more aggressive than others. I keep Beulah Speckled Face (a local breed of tough, muscular medium sized sheep) and Blue Faced Leicesters (gentle giants) and they are generally placid and easy to train. My current two rams, Dexter (Beulah) and Bill (BFL) are intact, big, and friendly, trustworthy, and I have no fear of being in with them, leading them, petting them etc. Neither have ever shown aggression towards people, though they still have their occasional 'differences of opinion' between themselves.

    Any sign of a ram lamb starting to exert his dominance (and is often happens) needs to be nipped in the bud. You are 'Top Ram' and they must accept this. As mysunwolf says, don't push their foreheads as they will think you want to have a 'play fight'. If there is anything that even vaguely looks like head butting from them, a sharp tap on the nose and shout "No" whilst staring at and moving towards them should stop it. If he goes on to show a wish to give you a full-on head butt, then he probably has a Bad Disposition and this won't change.( Having said this I've only ever had one ram like this in the 13 years I have had sheep). I don't eat meat, but the Nasty Ram is one you may to Be a Hamburger.

    Good Luck
     
  6. May 14, 2018
    WolfeMomma

    WolfeMomma Overrun with beasties

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    Thank you for all the ideas :)
    Im pretty sure that the farm he came from didn't handle him very much, if at all. So im starting from ground zero so to speak. I will keep up with the halter training, And watching his behavior and correcting if needed.
     
  7. May 14, 2018
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    The Dorper ram I bought had a semi bad disposition. The lady I bought him from laughingly said that his sire would take your kneecap off. I named him Ramburger. He was scared of plastic grocery bags, so when he got silly, I shook the bag at him, he ran, I chased him with the bag. We declared an uneasy truce. I eyed him for signs of a charge, eyed me for signs of a plastic bag. LOL LOL He still popped me a few times, not hard, but just trying me. His reward was the dreaded plastic bag.

    With Speckles, I will be able to train him up a little better. He's a sweet boy now.......but we know how that goes!
     
  8. May 15, 2018
    WolfeMomma

    WolfeMomma Overrun with beasties

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    Yeah I get nervous having a ram around. But I will do everything I can to at least give him the chance to be a good boy. I saw one at a sheep farm we were at and the ram was so insane it would jump out the windows in the barn. I wouldn't even want something like that on my farm, let alone breeding that personality in to my herd lol. Maybe some people don't mind or care, but being a small scale farm I want to breed at least some good behavior traits in to our herd, I don't have time nor patience to deal with the crazy ones lol...they will be eaten or sold.
     
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  9. May 15, 2018
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    A big AMEN to that! Mean animals have no place here. Have two mean roosters out there.....Our 3 year old grand daughter's favorite is mean rooster soup and rooster juice! (broth) LOL
     
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