YOUNG WETHER RAISING

MiniBarnFarm

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I already have 1 wether, he's my not so little baby boy, and also have 3 ewe's - in a couple of days I have the chance to look through a friends herd of newly weaned lambs I really want another boy, I find them more friendly I just can't help but worry about the first wether's thoughts on having a new "male" joining their small herd. Monty the current wether is by no means the dominate leader, that would be his sister. I plan on keeping the little lamb separate, it'll be in a panel pen within their small pasture until he/she grows bigger. From what I've read online wether's can be kept with wethers / ewes / rams literally anything so maybe I'm worrying over nothing?
 

Sheepshape

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All my boys keep their 'bits', but the same principles as for introduction of a ram/ram lamb should still work (I'm not clear if you plan to get a ram or a wether.....a ram will become 'hormonal' as he grows!)

Firstly does the newcomer need to be quarantined? If he/she isn't from a known/trusted source, then keep the new one separate from the others to ensure they aren't incubating disease etc. Worm/fluke/vaccinated them at this stage.

Next,put them in proximity, but separated by a barrier, for a couple of days so they get used to the site/smell of the newcomer. Then take the barrier down. There'll be butt and head sniffing, Flehmening, maybe a bit of 'head down' stuff, but. even with an intact ram lamb that is generally all.

They WILL establish a 'pecking order' like all flock/herd/group animals, but everyone quickly accepts their place and settles into it. If the newcomer is an intact ram lamb, he will become boss, but generally rams don't get nasty with ewes and just tend to ignore wethers. If the ewes come into season, if he's beyond about 4 months old and intact he will mate/try to mate them. Adult rams often form firm friends with other rams, but this friendship may involve the occasional bit of head-butting.

Good Luck.
 

MiniBarnFarm

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All my boys keep their 'bits', but the same principles as for introduction of a ram/ram lamb should still work (I'm not clear if you plan to get a ram or a wether.....a ram will become 'hormonal' as he grows!)

Firstly does the newcomer need to be quarantined? If he/she isn't from a known/trusted source, then keep the new one separate from the others to ensure they aren't incubating disease etc. Worm/fluke/vaccinated them at this stage.

Next,put them in proximity, but separated by a barrier, for a couple of days so they get used to the site/smell of the newcomer. Then take the barrier down. There'll be butt and head sniffing, Flehmening, maybe a bit of 'head down' stuff, but. even with an intact ram lamb that is generally all.

They WILL establish a 'pecking order' like all flock/herd/group animals, but everyone quickly accepts their place and settles into it. If the newcomer is an intact ram lamb, he will become boss, but generally rams don't get nasty with ewes and just tend to ignore wethers. If the ewes come into season, if he's beyond about 4 months old and intact he will mate/try to mate them. Adult rams often form firm friends with other rams, but this friendship may involve the occasional bit of head-butting.

Good Luck.
They are already banded, all the male lambs, about 4 weeks ago actually. They are around 3 months of age, and not very big. I don't want to just toss him/her in with my other yearlings. All of them the old and potentially new are from the same farm, but the farmer said his sheep do have worms or at least the mothers do and I will be taking any lamb that I get straight to the vets for shots and stool sample to test what I would need to treat for, and also to be sure the banding worked because I do not want a ram . . . .
If I keep him in a pen within the main pen (on dirt not grass for easy clean up and to watch for worms) it wouldn't be stressful would it? I was reading online and it said to take 2 lambs cause of stress and I know if you leave a sheep especially male in solitary it can cause aggression but the wether lamb wouldn't really be in solitary he can touch, smell, see the others just can't get hurt from their rough games until he's a bit bigger.
 

Sheepshape

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If I keep him in a pen within the main pen (on dirt not grass for easy clean up and to watch for worms) it wouldn't be stressful would it?
It's about as good as it gets. Any new animal that comes into the flock is an outsider and has to get integrated. Fortunately sheep are a flock animal and they rapidly integrate......a lost sheep will look for any flock to enter. The flock accept newcomers very fast as a rule. My rams are intact, but they quickly accept each other when placed in large pens in the shed with just a series of hurdles to separate them. Any aggression (normal for adult intact rams!) gets taken out on the fence, and usually subsides within less than 24 hours. Sheep get to know each other largely by smell...and intact rams smell.I've only once had a problem with this method, but the casualty was a water dispenser which the resident ram took exception to...butting it off the wall and flooding the shed.

Assume all new sheep have worms and worm them is what I do. However, if you want to be scientific, then send a faecal sample to your vet to look for worm eggs, as many worms just shed eggs in the faeces which contaminate the pasture. The eggs are then eaten and the worm restarts its life cycle in another sheep. It is unusual to see live worms in droppings, though tapeworm segments are easily spotted. The faecal worm egg load will determine if a wormer is really needed.
 

MiniBarnFarm

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I just ended up finding one on my local craigslist actually. It was for a 4 month old ram but when I got there he wanted nothing to do with me wasn't friendly like the ad had claimed and I drove 3 hours north to get him, but luckily the woman had a little wether who was also 4 months and the same color as the ram and also came from a set of triplets. He's had all his shots except rabies and I wormed him when we got home. He's out with my 4 others has been for 36 hours now, my yearling wether is actually acting the best with him, even let's the new little guy cuddle with him :)
This is Little Olly :
 

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