breeding age for Wiltshire ewes

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8 years 1 month ago #519973 by bsadler
Hi,

At what age can/should Wiltshire ewes be put with a ram?

Thanks

Bob

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8 years 1 month ago #519974 by muri
Some people put lambs to the ram, some people grow them on and put them to the ram in the second year.
I am of the first school and if they are running with the ram, when they are of a decent size, then they are usually ready to breed.
Wiltshire are quite quick maturing sheep but lambs usually come into maturity for breeding late april early May, in the north island anyway. There are different breeding times for different parts of the country.
I just run my ram with my ewes - mature and lambs - and they tend to get pregnant when they are ready

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8 years 1 month ago #519980 by tonic
I run my Wiltshire lambs with the ram also. Some of them lamb in their first year, usually a month or two after the ewes, others don't lamb. I don't think they cycle until they are a certain weight or maturity. I have no more lambing issues with the first timers than I do with the adults.

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8 years 1 month ago #519994 by LongRidge
I tried mating hoggets ie last years lambs a couple of times, but had such horrendous problems that I haven't been brave (or perhaps stupid) enough to do it again. From my notes and observations, it appears that most of my hoggets problems were that they had not naturally caught two of the diseases that cause no problem to non-pregnant sheep, but cause huge problems to pregnant sheep. These are Toxoplasmosis and Campylobacter. They are widespread throughout NZ, but not every sheep will catch them before they get pregnant and so develop an immunity. Now that I know about Toxo and Campy, how vaccination against them is so hugely time and life saving, and not vaccinating is close to a death sentence (we had 20% of the flock with problems one year, half of which died), I do not mate any sheep that is not up to date with it's vaccinations. And I HATE vaccinating animals :(

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8 years 1 month ago #519995 by tonic
I would be interested to hear from people who don't breed their Wiltshires as lambs. I live on a steep, rough piece of land with poor pasture, but the ewes that don't breed in the first year tend to get very overweight by the time they lamb in the following year. This bothers me, though more in theory than from actually having any issues. Perhaps their fitness levels are still high enough for them to lamb unassisted from living on the hills?

If I had flatter land and better pasture I would be worried about lambing problems form overweight ewes if I waited to mate them in thier second year.

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8 years 1 month ago #520000 by kindajojo
Hi Tonic, I have had that problem holding over lambs til 18 months old, they get fat and complacent when it comes to lambing....if they are of good weight and you have plenty of feed for hoggets there doesn't seem to be a problem

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8 years 1 month ago - 8 years 1 month ago #520001 by Deanna
I have always let the ewe lambs go with the ram with no issues. Less likely to get twins, in fact the 1st year, one set of twins to 22 singles.

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.
Last edit: 8 years 1 month ago by Deanna.

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8 years 1 month ago #520006 by muri
The weight of the ewes is the only problem I find with the wiltis if they dont lamb. But even those that have lambed also seem to be rather heavy animals.
I have never had an issue with any wiltis having problems at lambing, in fact they have all been problem free although this year, half of my wiltis didnt get pregnant, and I am not sure why. Of my various breeds, the wiltis have had the lowest lambing ratio

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8 years 1 month ago #520080 by kindajojo
Last year I had 40 lambs from 24 ewes including three hoggets, ( one twin And two singles ) normally lambing I. The 180% for the ewes at tagging

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8 years 1 month ago #520153 by abycat
I was going to ask the same question. Our 2 girls are pets and while they are big I'd prefer to wait until next year before breeding them.

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8 years 1 month ago - 8 years 1 month ago #520155 by tonic
If you'd prefer to wait then do so. The thing to be aware of is watching their weight. Overweight and unfit ewes can have serious lambing issues putting both their and the lambs lives at risk. If you can keep them trim then breed them when you are ready!
Last edit: 8 years 1 month ago by tonic.

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8 years 3 weeks ago #520289 by John M
I do, as many others here, and put the ewe lambs out with the ewe flock at tupping. Last year was the exception, I had a couple of really later lambs so I kept them out of the flock.

Mostly the ewe lambs bear singles that first year, occasionally the odd one won't lamb at all.

I also have access to a family hilly small farm in Pohangina and so my ewes go out there from weaning until tupping to stop them getting fat. They keep good condition.

John

Breeding black Wiltshire shedding sheep.

Full shedding, easy care, good feet, easy lambing and good mothering is what it takes to make the breeding cut!

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