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Undersized Ramling

Discussion in 'Birthing, Weaning, and Raising Young Sheep' started by Childwanderer, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Dec 6, 2017
    Childwanderer

    Childwanderer Overrun with beasties

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    Hello! I have an 11 month-old polled GCN ram who seems very small for his age. He's short enough in comparison to the ewes he is expected, and eager, to cover, that he doesn't seem capable. The horned ewe at the rear has taken to despise him, not only refusing to stand for him but occassionally chasing him around the paddock. At 11 months, can one hope that he will still mature, both in size and form? (This picture was taken in cold rain, accounting for the bedraggled appearance of the subject matter.)
    upload_2017-12-6_16-59-28.jpeg
     
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  2. Dec 6, 2017
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    First, I no longer have sheep, and when I did they were not for breeding. I do however have goats, not sure if sheep do the same or not but with some of our goats this year they refused to be bred to a young smaller buck. They like the big boys. Plain and simple. They will butt the run from them tuck their tail anything to avoid the small youngster... the second we put a big boy in they stand perfect.

    Your boy may be a slower grower... or stunted... don't know about your breed of sheep.
     
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  3. Dec 6, 2017
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape True BYH Addict

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    Oh,some ewes are VERY picky, others not so much. I've had ewes call to a huge ram in a neighbouring field when they have a smaller ram of 'their' own field. Also ewes tend to prefer rams of their own breed.

    As for is he capable?....almost certainly yes. Some ewes will be very accommodating and squat down to small rams.

    Remember, too, that inexperienced rams will pretty much chase any ewe, but the ewe will only stand when she is in season, and that's only for a day or two every 3 weeks. At that time, having avoided, butted and generally shown her distaste for a ram, she may well seek him out, present herself and generally ingratiate herself to him (well at least for 36 hours or so).

    Will he grow? Maybe....if he's fed well, has normal sized parents and didn't have any illness in his 11 months which could cause permanent stunting.

    Can you borrow a 'big boy'? Otherwise good luck with your little man.
     
  4. Dec 6, 2017
    Childwanderer

    Childwanderer Overrun with beasties

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    Well, he did have a case of full white-eye-membrane-anemia back in September, two weeks after we brought him home. We dewormed him, gave him some red B-12 vitamin supplements and supplemental alfalfa and he seemed to recover quickly. Do you think that would stunt his growth?
     
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  5. Dec 7, 2017
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape True BYH Addict

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    It would slow him up, but probably not cause him to have permanent stunting. Give him some ram mix/pellets etc when you can to boost his growth.
     
  6. Jan 15, 2018
    misfitmorgan

    misfitmorgan True BYH Addict

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    Some rams also just grow slow. We had two rams both born 2 weeks apart, one ram clearly grew faster and better then the other ram now at almost 2yrs old they are almost identical in size. They had the exact same feed and even both came off of 2F ewes. I will say the slower grower definately is less desireable in our meat breed sheep. We kept the smaller ram named Captain for our clean up ram but our bigger ram named Tigger hopefully got all the girls for us. Captain does have a saving grace, he is super friendly and a twin, where Tigger is not quite as friendly and a single.
     
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  7. Jan 15, 2018
    Childwanderer

    Childwanderer Overrun with beasties

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    Aries-totle is similar to Captain in that regard; he's a twin and very docile.
     
  8. Jan 15, 2018
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape True BYH Addict

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    Just to say with rams, size does not always matter.

    I only had a modeerately-sized 6 month old Blue Faced Leicester ram lamb for my 5 big Leicester ladies. Never saw him show too much of interest in them at all. Scanning shows 3 are having singletons, 1 twins and 1 triplets.

    Clearly he was capable....
     
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  9. Jan 16, 2018
    misfitmorgan

    misfitmorgan True BYH Addict

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    That is true, when Captain and Tigger were only 6 months old one of them managed to bred a full size ewe and make her a 2F.
     
  10. Jan 16, 2018
    Childwanderer

    Childwanderer Overrun with beasties

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    The more dominant and cautious of my ewes, whose hobbies include giving small predators the stink eye and butting undesirable rams away from food, just stood for him this morning!