Ram trying to breed a pregnant ewe

Ponker

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My ram, Holstien was out to a friend to breed five of his sheep. Well, Holstein ended up with foot scald pretty bad from a muddy nighttime holding area near the barn. When I found him in such a condition we took him home to treat. He was the incredibly gentle ram I remember until his feet healed. Then he became a holy terror. He jumped out of the new stall in the barn and taught the new LGD (still a 12 week old pup) a lesson in respect. When I came in the morning, he was walking around inspecting the rabbits munching on some alfalfa. It was at that moment, I decided to put him back in with my other three sheep, two Katahdin crosses (BettyLou and Spots)and a young Finnsheep ewe (Athena). They did the normal head butting things and then calmed down. Then Holstein began trying to breed my very pregnant ewe, BettyLou. BettyLou is the big bossy ewe of the yard, but a sweetheart who loves scratches and hugs. He chases her and curled his lip and mounted her while she ran frantically around the small pen where I did the re-introduction. I became concerned and removed him to the barn again. BettyLou and the rest of the girls had high anxiety and were very nervous. After a couple of hours without Holstein they calmed down again.

I'm so surprised that he insisted on trying to breed her. He was panting and had his tongue hanging out. His sides heaved and poor BettyLou had rolling eyes and ran for the first time in a year, I bet. It was disturbing. I thought he'd quit after he established dominance but he just went on and on. it made me wonder if maybe BettyLou wasn't pregnant but then I look at her. She and Spots were bred to a fine Katahdin ram before I bought them. I did see the Ram and he was a fine specimen. She looks pregnant, just like Spots.

Anyone can shed some light on this for me? How am I going to manage this? Will I have to keep him separated from my pregnant ewes?
 

frustratedearthmother

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I don't know if this has anything to do with what your ram did... But...

I had a friend who raised donkeys. She had several bred Jenny's when she decided to sell her original jack and brought home a new jack. The new jack promptly raped her two Jenny's who miscarried soon after... :hu
 

norseofcourse

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I've only had sheep for a few years, but my ram tends to act 'stupid' for a few months once breeding season commences, even though the girls are likely bred within the first few weeks. Your ram may be (over)reacting to sheep that are 'new' to him right now. He's not exactly thinking with the rational part of his brain at the moment...

I'd certainly keep him separated for the safety of your ewes and their expected lambs. I used to put my ram back with the flock during the summer (mine are seasonal breeders so they don't come into heat till fall), but I eventually separated him last year because he got too bossy with the lambs, chasing them out of the run-in area. He did quite fine in an adjacent pasture, luckily he respects electric fence very well.

I hope it works out and your lambing goes well!
 

Ponker

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I don't know if this has anything to do with what your ram did... But...

I had a friend who raised donkeys. She had several bred Jenny's when she decided to sell her original jack and brought home a new jack. The new jack promptly raped her two Jenny's who miscarried soon after... :hu
YIKES! luckily I saved BettyLou the horror and removed him. I'm sorry your friend had such a bad experience.
 

Ponker

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I've only had sheep for a few years, but my ram tends to act 'stupid' for a few months once breeding season commences, even though the girls are likely bred within the first few weeks. Your ram may be (over)reacting to sheep that are 'new' to him right now. He's not exactly thinking with the rational part of his brain at the moment...

I'd certainly keep him separated for the safety of your ewes and their expected lambs. I used to put my ram back with the flock during the summer (mine are seasonal breeders so they don't come into heat till fall), but I eventually separated him last year because he got too bossy with the lambs, chasing them out of the run-in area. He did quite fine in an adjacent pasture, luckily he respects electric fence very well.

I hope it works out and your lambing goes well!
I was hoping they could be one happy family again... For the sake of the lambs due in late February, he'll just have to keep his distance.
 

luvmypets

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I'm sorry you are having such trouble, hopefully you figure it out. Luckily our ram even though he is a brat to us, is a gentleman to the ewes, and he watches over then while they are pregnant(the times we let him stay) and he will put his body between me and the ewe if I try to touch her. Hopefully he is just a little stressed and wound up so maybe he will calm down.

Also if you have babies coming, don't forgot lots of pictures ;)
 

promiseacres

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Some rams don't seem to be able to differiate hormones of late term pregnancy and being in heat...that with "new" ewes to breed....
Hope your lambing goes well.
 

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