1. BYH Official Poll: What are the things that you should consider before buying herds?
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  2. Meet Pearl, New Horse - Discussion thread.
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Dismiss Notice
  4. BYH Picture of the Week (POW) - Submit your Pics Now !!
    Click HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)
    Dismiss Notice

Should I keep a ram year-round?

Discussion in 'Behaviors & Handling Techniques - Sheep' started by shepherdO, Oct 22, 2018.

?

Is it worth keeping a ram full time?

  1. No, for matters of feed, safety, and convenience just keep them for breeding season.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Yes, it's wiser to keep a ram, assuming he's not aggressive, for at leat a few years.

    3 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. Oct 22, 2018
    shepherdO

    shepherdO Chillin' with the herd

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    29
    Location:
    Okanagan area of British Columbia
    Okay, so I need some help making a decision. I currently have a ram that I bought this fall for breeding. He's a nice Shropshire over Texel. Not huge, but nicely built, as far as I can tell (not an expert). He bred all my ewes (9) without a problem, and all took within the first cycle (all were marked, and none have accepted him since I've swtiched crayons - fingers crossed!)

    Anyhoo, I've been very pleased with him. He's quite friendly - like a little Ewok, actually. no signs of aggression yet. He's not afraid at all, but also not pushy or anything - it's difficult to predict what this kind of temperament will grow into, I suppose...

    So my question/dilemma is: should I keep him until next year, or sell him now and just buy a new ram for next year's breeding? I know typically you'd recycle a ram every 3 (?) years, so he's good for a couple more. However, I know that it can be a pain keeping rams and ewes separate; I don't want to have an aggressive animal (my 4 year old was already 'attacked' by my wether when she went into the sheep pen with a cousin, and needed an emergency visit - heartstopping, I'll tell out...).

    At the same time, there's an obvious cost involved with purchasing a ram every year, a risk of introducing disease each time, the difficulty of finding a ram that 'fits', as well as the chance of getting an aggressive ram, etc.

    So, help me weigh the pros and cons and make a decision! I have very good fences, so keeping him contained isn't really an issue, although of course with little kids around I'm always a little worried. If I sell him, it would be at the end of this current cycle to make sure all the ewes have caught.

    What would you do? I may put him up and just see if there's interest. I guess if I can get back what I paid for him earlier in the fall, there's no loss to me, correct?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Oct 23, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    10,432
    Likes Received:
    14,308
    Trophy Points:
    563
    Location:
    NE Texas
    I'd personally wait and see what kind and quality of offspring he produces for you. As long as he's not aggressive or mean/destructive/etc. I'm sure the amount he eats above what you're already feeding the others is minuscule... Can't be costing you that much. If he produces high quality lambs, I'd continue to use him for a few more seasons and then see about maybe trading with another sheep owner to do a 1 for 1 swap, or sell him as a proven herd sire, or freezer camp. Really kind of depends on your plans for the lambs he produces... keep to grow your flock, or sell for pets, new farmers, food... You can line breed at least 2 generations with no issues if he hasn't already been used to do so with your current stock. After that, any offspring (IMHO) should be market lambs/terminal/freezer bound.
     
    mysunwolf and mystang89 like this.
  3. Oct 23, 2018
    mystang89

    mystang89 True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    770
    Trophy Points:
    238
    Location:
    Charlestown IN
    I agree with latestarter
     
  4. Oct 23, 2018
    shepherdO

    shepherdO Chillin' with the herd

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    29
    Location:
    Okanagan area of British Columbia
    Okay... I have a wether he can live with for the time being.

    As well, I've read that rams often don't start getting really aggressive until after about 18 months. If this hold true, hopefully he'd still be relatively innocuous until at or after next breeding season.

    I've also read that ram aggression can be heritable, correct? His father (a shrophsire) was very calm, and the breeder told me she's never had issues with aggressive rams who break down fences so that's promising.

    Any more perspectives out there?