Rams pestering nursing ewe

HaleIwanyazyn farm

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Hello. We are just starting out our herd. We started with a couple ewes which both turned out to be pregnant. We got a ram early on and he’s been with them the whole time. One ewe gave birth to a ram 3 months ago and the other ewe had a ewe lamb one month ago. Now both rams are aggressive with the ewe that has the one moth old lamb. They won’t allow the lamb to nurse. They bother her all the time. Only have the one pasture set up for them at the moment. Have been separating the mom and lamb in the shelter so the lamb can nurse. Any advice is appreciated.
 

Baymule

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Rams need to be separated from lambing ewes. Your 3 month old ram is of breeding age. You need to take both rams out. If one pen and pasture is all you have, a quick way to build a pen is with cow panels. They are 16 feet long by 50 inches tall. T-posts, 1 in the middle and 1 on each end, wired together. Cut one in half for a gate. 4 panels plus half for a gate and you have a pen.

What are your plans for the young ram? You only need one. You can either eat him or sell him. Put an ad on Craigslist or take him to auction if there is one close enough.

I wean ram lambs at 2 months old. Usually by that tender age, some are already mounting the ewes. The ewe that lambed 3 months ago is more than likely bred again.

The 2 rams are fighting, getting more aggressive and dangerous. That’s another reason to get one gone ASAP. Plus a ram can be aggressive when you are doing something with the ewes and hurt you. If the 1 month old lamb is a ewe , the ram will breed her on her first heat, usually around 4 months old, which is too young and would likely stunt her growth and development. Some people breed young ewes at 6 months, most wait until 8 months to a year old.

You will find that you will need weaning pens, the rams separated from the ewe lambs.

Some of us know WAAAAY too much about young rams breeding the flock. They are sneaky little devils.

Bottom line is, one ram has to go. The other ram needs to be separated from the ewes. Somewhere as you go along, you will learn how to castrate or used a bander to relieve young ram lambs of those pesky testicles that make them act so bad. Then you can pasture them with the flock and raise them up for the freezer.

Cow panels and T-posts are my go-to for instant pens.

I really wish you the best and want you to succeed with your sheep. It takes a lot of bravery to come ask a bunch of complete strangers for help. Kudos to you for that!

Feel free to ask anything, you will get help.
 

Mini Horses

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Mike was being nice. Bay was being directly factual in how to handle these things 🥰. Listen to her. We ladies tend to be clearly and quickly truthful 😄

Yep, those boys can be baaaaaad news. Doing what rams do, needs control. Be careful as they sometimes get raunchy and a fast smack with a strong stick will be you best defense. Listen and do. Bay has sheep, I have goats....in both situations the male separation needs to happen.

When 200# of muscled force is launched at you, you're in danger. Just their instinct. 👍
 
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Margali

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Yep, my "mild" ram about broke my arm last month. At it was, I got a ~$800 ER bill pending since it was Saturday night. It was a good two weeks before it stopped aching.
 

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Ridgetop

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Remove the 3-month-old ram. Either castrate him for your freezer, or sell him immediately. The older ram should stop bothering the ewe and lamb once the 3-month-old ram lamb is gone. I have run a ram with my sheep flock and left him in with the ewes and lambs. I do separate the ewes with newborns for at least a month since the birth fluids can mimic the smell of estrus. After a month that odor is gone and the ram should not bother the ewe and nursing lamb until she comes unto estrus again.

You do not specify what breed you have. If it is a Dorper or Katahdin, those ewes can come into season abut 2-3 months after the lamb is born. If they are running with a ram, they will breed back and can produce another lamb 8-9 months after the first. Ewe lambs of those breeds are also fertile sooner so ewelings must be separated from rams (even their twin brothers) by about 3 months old. Pregnancy too early can be dangerous to the eweling and/or her lambs.
 
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