Owning a ram with only 1 paddock?

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10 years 11 months ago #35218 by pipjhall
I'm thinking of getting a ram but not sure If I am completely mad. We only have one paddock and it is also our walk-through access to the chook house....a journey the kids and I make each day. Am I bonkers to think about putting a ram into a paddock that we use so often?
We've got a small 3 acre block but most of it is covenented bush, one paddock has our house (and flower gardens) in it, so that only leaves 1 other paddock that we can use for livestock. We run 4 ewes. We would have no way to seperate the ram from the ewes at any point during the year.

For the past two years we have packed up our ewes in April and driven them off to a friend's farm for a 2 month "get pregnant" holiday. That was when we only had two ewes. Now we are up to four and it's starting to get tiresome thinking of catching them all and transporting and then catching them again when its time to come home. Here it is June and our girls have still not had their dirty holiday because I am dreading the work involved and am thinking of buying our own ram but just not sure how aggressive and territorial it could be.

Any advice?

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10 years 11 months ago #461888 by muri
I would definitely not have my children walking thru a paddock with a ram, you never know.
Last week my very quiet well behaved ram dropped me in the paddock from behind. A kid wouldnt stand a chance in that situation and you never know whats on a rams mind.
If you want your ewes pregnant, hire a ram for the 6 weeks or so they are in season but dont go thru the paddock on a daily basis and turn yourself and your children into a target

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10 years 11 months ago #461889 by germanshepherd
Replied by germanshepherd on topic Owning a ram with only 1 paddock?
Muri,a correction.i am sure you meant "I would definitely NOT have" .There used to be a dropping ram in the cambridge park years ago

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10 years 11 months ago #461891 by KaiapoiKen
From experience Pip, do not get a ram and put it in a paddock that you use regularly. We were given a small ram lamb which the grandkids treated as a pet initially but after a couple of months he started to get stroppy and nearly broke one GK's leg. Went to meet his maker the next day. Bit skinny but sweet eating.

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10 years 11 months ago #461893 by Ruth
Revenge: a great seasoning.

Try and borrow one from friends? Then you can take it back in six weeks or so and no longer have to worry about it.

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10 years 11 months ago #461894 by Aquila
A ram is expensive to service 4 ewes for all of 6 weeks of the year when you have to feed him 52 weeks of the year.....

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

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10 years 11 months ago #461911 by jeannielea
If you have a friend with a ram as you obviously do, why not bring him to your place for the few weeks required? In other words simply reverse the process you now go through and only ever one animal to transport. I wouldn't own a ewe if I had to keep it in a paddock used frequently by humans.

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10 years 11 months ago #461924 by LongRidge
In seasonal breeders (Romney, Cheviot, Perendale, Suffolks and most other breeds in NZ) the ewes stop ovulating at or near 24 June. So unless you have Dorset Horns, Dorpers, Merino or a few other breeds, your ewes are unlikely to get pregnant this year.
Between now and March, find a stud sheep breeder and arrange to buy the best of his cull stud ram lambs. Put the ram in with the ewes then, take him out early July, and homekill him then. Repeat the following year.

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10 years 11 months ago #461930 by muri
I usually take the best and earliest of my ram lambs, he is stud master for the year and is still fine for eating before he gets too old, ie he will be under a year when he goes to home kill
Have never had any problems from running a related ram over his mother etc. It elimates a lot of problems - of getting in a ram or transporting the ewes somewhere else, of having a ram in the paddock all year etc etc

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10 years 11 months ago #462016 by LongRidge
That would also mean that he would mate the ewes a bit later so that the lambs aren't born before there is enough grass growing for them. I've never been permitted to try line breeding, but understand that genetic problems can occur mating brother to sister, which would occur if ewe lambs were saved as well as a ram lamb. Another possible problem with that scenario is the saved ram lamb getting Pulpy Kidney ..... which for me would happen about 20 minutes after I had ringed the last and all the other male lambs :-(.

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10 years 11 months ago #462029 by muri
LR, you dont need to keep the sister of the ram you just sell her on.
Line breeding can enhance genetic qualities, it doesnt have to create problems.
I did it for the first 10 years of sheep breeding and never had an issue
I have had more problems buying in rams in the last few years than with using one of my own ram lambs

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10 years 11 months ago #462068 by hilldweller
If catching the ewes means chasing them down individually it would be a good idea to sort out some makeshift 'yards' in case needed at lambing time anyway. If you did that now it would give you some easier options for transporting either the ewes or a ram.

hilldweller

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10 years 11 months ago #462091 by Anne
On the sheep farm I grew up on, we didn't put the ram near the ewes until the end of May. We bred stud coopworths and never had a problem getting ewes in lamb - but we did live further south.

If you can borrow I ram for a short period, that would probably ge your easiest route. Most people will have finished with their rams by now in the North Island, so borrowing one should not be a problem.

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10 years 11 months ago #462094 by muri
Anne the reason most people up this way have finished with their rams already is that they dont want to be lambing in the warmer months of nov and dec when flystrike can already occur. April may are good times for tupping but I think its best to avoid later than that

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10 years 11 months ago #462348 by Inger
We tether our Gotland ram. That way we know where he is and there's no issue with any bunting, if he ever got the idea into his head.

I would lease a ram if I were you. With so few ewes, it's not worth owning your own, on such a small property. We lease our old Wiltshire ram out and haven't had any problems with him. He doesn't see people as anything to be interested in. Though with children, you need to be extra cautious.

45 hectares between Whangarei and Paparoa. Registered Dexter cattle, Wiltshire sheep - black, white & pied.
New Hampshire Red poultry & Dorking poultry. Pilgrim Geese, Appleyard Ducks.
A cat called Pusscat and still looking for another heading dog.

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