To pull rams or leave them in?

Cmoran

Member
I’m letting teaser rams of on Friday to my early lambers for two weeks then putting in breeding rams but was considering pulling the rams again after 2-3 weeks and putting in again in 20th October when ewe lambs and mountainy ewes going to the rams to keep job compact instead of 3 months lambing!!! Is it good idea and when is best to take out rams will I wait until most ewes are raddled or just set a date?? Tia
 

Cmoran

Member
Before anyone else makes any comment and tags me about it...




Always always always pull off your tups
After how long though? We always just let them run but fed up spending 3 months lambing!! I’d usually buy 100-200 inlamb ewes in February but going to keep extra over winter this year and not buy in February to try make life easier
 

Mc115reed

Member
After how long though? We always just let them run but fed up spending 3 months lambing!! I’d usually buy 100-200 inlamb ewes in February but going to keep extra over winter this year and not buy in February to try make life easier
I left mine in 3 weeks last year and has 56 barren out of 300 using teasers… i didn’t really have enough rams to the ewes I think so a few got missed I had 1-40 rams I suspect for how tight my lambing was I needed 1-20 rams … the majority lambed in week 2
 

Cmoran

Member
I left mine in 3 weeks last year and has 56 barren out of 300 using teasers… i didn’t really have enough rams to the ewes I think so a few got missed I had 1-40 rams I suspect for how tight my lambing was I needed 1-20 rams … the majority lambed in week 2
I’ll be putting 10-12 rams on 300 ewes hopefully need to buy some this week as it’s always last minute around here
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I left mine in 3 weeks last year and has 56 barren out of 300 using teasers… i didn’t really have enough rams to the ewes I think so a few got missed I had 1-40 rams I suspect for how tight my lambing was I needed 1-20 rams … the majority lambed in week 2

It’s a pee poor ram that’s struggling at 1:40 ime, and most well reared rams will cope with double that without spreading your lambing out.

Unless your rams have some serious issues, you’re barking up the wrong tree if you’re blaming them for having 20% barren. It’s far more likely to be an issue with the ewes tbh.

One of my maternal rams stopped 110 of his 123 ewes in the first 17 days last year. Expecting any ram to only be able to stop 20 in that time is just crazy.

Aside from ewe lambs, I won’t have more than 5% lambing to second cycle here, even at considerably higher ewe:ram ratios than you’re suggesting.

The ram sellers must love you guys.🤐
 
@Cmoran
There can be many reasons for fertility issues in a flock. By having such a high ram to ewe ratio in the past indicates to me it probably isn't a ram fertility problem. But like ewes, most ram breeds also have their fertility turned on and off seasonally. So I would ask the following questions before questioning entire and teaser rams.
Are the ewes cycling? Try mating harness/crayon to see if all are marked by rams over a cycle.
If not cycling, why? Are you mating too early before seasonal oestrus commences? There is a difference between breeds.
If all are cycling (marked by rams) then there is problems with either sperm transport preventing fertilisation, or very early embryonic death at around the time of implantation. Sperm transport can be affected by phyto-oestrogens found in old varieties of Red Clover or by uterine junk (bone debris) sometimes happening after prolonged stress period such as being stranded for a couple weeks under snow while pregnant, obviously not this problem if 1st time mated ewes are also affected. Failed implantation of the embryo(s) is usually a result of Selenium deficiency...... easily sorted.
If the ewes are not returning to the next cycle (different coloured crayon) but returning to the ram later or remain empty, then the issue is probably of disease origin killing the foetus (or foetuses). Chat to your vet to see what is the most common abortion disease locally and what vaccines are advised.

Having rams colour mark ewes in each cycle with a different colour tells you more about what is going on in the flock at the most vital time in the production calendar. A very cheap tool to determine why and when some ewes remain empty so remedial action can be implemented.
 

Electricfencer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cotswolds
I left mine in 3 weeks last year and has 56 barren out of 300 using teasers… i didn’t really have enough rams to the ewes I think so a few got missed I had 1-40 rams I suspect for how tight my lambing was I needed 1-20 rams … the majority lambed in week 2
What a disaster! I would rather have lambs than barren ewes but do lamb last so makes no difference on cost. 300 mules ran with 3 NZ Suffolk tups until scanning and I had 25 lambs born after 3 weeks of lambing (I rung everyday until then and 25 had long tails at first Hep). If those 25 lambs are worth £70 now as stores that's £1750!
I bought an expensive "elite" NZ Suffolk last year he tupped 70 mules for march lambing then came out and tupped 90 welsh ewes for late April. I put lleyn tups in behind to catch any that he didn't get and only have 8 white lambs.
 
A good fit Tup will easily cover 100 in two cycles and would expect over 85% in the first cycle.
We only use high index rams which are often expensive so will single sire mate some groups of 100 plus.
Admittedly September tupping may be a little different to November.

Much better to use the best Tup you can afford and spread the cost over more ewes.
 
It’s a pee poor ram that’s struggling at 1:40 ime, and most well reared rams will cope with double that without spreading your lambing out.

Unless your rams have some serious issues, you’re barking up the wrong tree if you’re blaming them for having 20% barren. It’s far more likely to be an issue with the ewes tbh.

One of my maternal rams stopped 110 of his 123 ewes in the first 17 days last year. Expecting any ram to only be able to stop 20 in that time is just crazy.

Aside from ewe lambs, I won’t have more than 5% lambing to second cycle here, even at considerably higher ewe:ram ratios than you’re suggesting.

The ram sellers must love you guys.🤐
Doesn't he lamb quite early, mule ewe's wouldn't have started cycling.
 

Cmoran

Member
@Cmoran
There can be many reasons for fertility issues in a flock. By having such a high ram to ewe ratio in the past indicates to me it probably isn't a ram fertility problem. But like ewes, most ram breeds also have their fertility turned on and off seasonally. So I would ask the following questions before questioning entire and teaser rams.
Are the ewes cycling? Try mating harness/crayon to see if all are marked by rams over a cycle.
If not cycling, why? Are you mating too early before seasonal oestrus commences? There is a difference between breeds.
If all are cycling (marked by rams) then there is problems with either sperm transport preventing fertilisation, or very early embryonic death at around the time of implantation. Sperm transport can be affected by phyto-oestrogens found in old varieties of Red Clover or by uterine junk (bone debris) sometimes happening after prolonged stress period such as being stranded for a couple weeks under snow while pregnant, obviously not this problem if 1st time mated ewes are also affected. Failed implantation of the embryo(s) is usually a result of Selenium deficiency...... easily sorted.
If the ewes are not returning to the next cycle (different coloured crayon) but returning to the ram later or remain empty, then the issue is probably of disease origin killing the foetus (or foetuses). Chat to your vet to see what is the most common abortion disease locally and what vaccines are advised.

Having rams colour mark ewes in each cycle with a different colour tells you more about what is going on in the flock at the most vital time in the production calendar. A very cheap tool to determine why and when some ewes remain empty so remedial action can be implemented.
I’m not having trouble with fertility it’s more the mix of breeds we run. Suffolk ewes seem to always be raddled first and then the other breeds start to cycle I’m just trying to tighten up the lambing pattern
 

Mc115reed

Member
It’s a pee poor ram that’s struggling at 1:40 ime, and most well reared rams will cope with double that without spreading your lambing out.

Unless your rams have some serious issues, you’re barking up the wrong tree if you’re blaming them for having 20% barren. It’s far more likely to be an issue with the ewes tbh.

One of my maternal rams stopped 110 of his 123 ewes in the first 17 days last year. Expecting any ram to only be able to stop 20 in that time is just crazy.

Aside from ewe lambs, I won’t have more than 5% lambing to second cycle here, even at considerably higher ewe:ram ratios than you’re suggesting.

The ram sellers must love you guys.🤐
I lamb in January not April… ewes don’t cycle that easily in January for a start… I did have a Suffolk tup last year that couldn’t get his todger out though which didn’t help… and a toxo problem at lambing which would also affect barren rate… but lambing early youv got too accept a few more barrens than lambing at a sensible time of year…
 

Mc115reed

Member
What a disaster! I would rather have lambs than barren ewes but do lamb last so makes no difference on cost. 300 mules ran with 3 NZ Suffolk tups until scanning and I had 25 lambs born after 3 weeks of lambing (I rung everyday until then and 25 had long tails at first Hep). If those 25 lambs are worth £70 now as stores that's £1750!
I bought an expensive "elite" NZ Suffolk last year he tupped 70 mules for march lambing then came out and tupped 90 welsh ewes for late April. I put lleyn tups in behind to catch any that he didn't get and only have 8 white lambs.
Iv got a lot of things too do after mid March that earn me a lot more money than sheep for accepting a higher barren rate to be finished lambing in 3 weeks In January is just something I have too accept… barrens have made good money last few years so really doesn’t bother me
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I lamb in January not April… ewes don’t cycle that easily in January for a start… I did have a Suffolk tup last year that couldn’t get his todger out though which didn’t help… and a toxo problem at lambing which would also affect barren rate… but lambing early youv got too accept a few more barrens than lambing at a sensible time of year…

A few more barrens isn’t 20% though. I would expect the Toxo will have caused a bigger issue than anything else, which presumably you’ve covered now?
Spending more to get rams up to 1:20 won’t get your ewes in lamb faster. The rams can’t get them in lamb if they don’t cycle, or keep them in lamb if faced with disease.
If you’re not already, you’d be better off buying a teaser or two, or spending that ram money on Regulin.

I’d not give them longer than 2 cycles either, lambing goes on long enough, particularly if you have outside work to do too. I might expect a few more to spread into the second cycle if tupping for late January, but there shouldn’t be 20% empty.
 

Mc115reed

Member
A few more barrens isn’t 20% though. I would expect the Toxo will have caused a bigger issue than anything else, which presumably you’ve covered now?
Spending more to get rams up to 1:20 won’t get your ewes in lamb faster. The rams can’t get them in lamb if they don’t cycle, or keep them in lamb if faced with disease.
If you’re not already, you’d be better off buying a teaser or two, or spending that ram money on Regulin.

I’d not give them longer than 2 cycles either, lambing goes on long enough, particularly if you have outside work to do too. I might expect a few more to spread into the second cycle if tupping for late January, but there shouldn’t be 20% empty.
Iv ran teasers for last 3 years, toxo is covered now so hopefully won’t cause an issue but I’m just going off advise I was given from my vet that most people using teasers are using a higher ram rate than I was using so trying a higher ram rate this year… if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work Iv not lost much.. just bought 3 more rams which can replace my older rams..
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Hopefully Toxo won’t be a problem for you now then.👍
I always tease ewes too, and your 1:40 ratio is plenty high enough, without the need to spend any more, assuming your rams are all fit, fertile & mobile of course. 1:20 is way more than necessary, on anything other than synchronised mating.

Of course, you’ll likely get less barrens this year because of Toxo being sorted, but please don’t get sucked into thinking you need such ram numbers on the back of it. Better to run fewer, better quality rams for the same money, or save some.
 

CHAP Webinar - Innovative tools to overcome the challenges of Regen Ag

  • 362
  • 1
https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.evbuc.com%2Fimages%2F186160299%2F486662465563%2F1%2Foriginal.20211115-160823


Applying principles of regen ag can incur a range of on-farm challenges. Learn how innovative tools & machinery can help with these hurdles.

This event will be held online from 1pm to 2pm on Thursday 2nd December 2021 so please block it out in your diary.

About this event​

Intro
This...
Top