Working ram lambs

Guiggs

Member
Location
Leicestershire
I've got 50 odd broken ewes, mainly welsh breeds, that I've decided are fit enough to lamb once more.
I've was going to buy a ram lamb to cover them as it's a small number but 3 breeders have now told me that's too many ewes for a lamb to cover and he should only work 20- 25 ish.
That doesn't sound like many to me, I always thought a decent fit ram lamb should cover 50 odd and a shearling/ aged ram 100 ish, am I wrong or are these tups being bred/ reared to soft?
It's not like they have a hard life, just have 3 or 4 weeks a year to earn their keep!
 

Jerry

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Devon
I’ve got a ram lamb in with 200 ewes, plus a shearling and two 4tooth.

so 1:50 roughy and I’m nit too worried. 50% covered in about 12 days
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I've got 50 odd broken ewes, mainly welsh breeds, that I've decided are fit enough to lamb once more.
I've was going to buy a ram lamb to cover them as it's a small number but 3 breeders have now told me that's too many ewes for a lamb to cover and he should only work 20- 25 ish.
That doesn't sound like many to me, I always thought a decent fit ram lamb should cover 50 odd and a shearling/ aged ram 100 ish, am I wrong or are these tups being bred/ reared to soft?
It's not like they have a hard life, just have 3 or 4 weeks a year to earn their keep!

It will depend on how he’s been reared, and whether having to graze forage for a living is a shock to his system. A lot of well fed ram lambs ‘could’ also be subfertile from having extra fat round his testicles.

That said, any ram (or lamb) can have an issue, so putting all your eggs in one basket is always going to be a risk, regardless of numbers. How do you feel about the risk of a delayed lambing?
 

Guiggs

Member
Location
Leicestershire
It will depend on how he’s been reared, and whether having to graze forage for a living is a shock to his system. A lot of well fed ram lambs ‘could’ also be subfertile from having extra fat round his testicles.

That said, any ram (or lamb) can have an issue, so putting all your eggs in one basket is always going to be a risk, regardless of numbers. How do you feel about the risk of a delayed lambing?
This is very true, I'm already putting lambing back to the end of march / early April but definitely wouldn't want to be pushing towards May!
 
Risk of a non working ram lamb aside a fit and able ram lamb reared on forage not fat and fed out if a trough would/should do 50 ewes. Something overfed and unfit then 20odd is probably enough.
You'd just have to watch for repeats as they come into their next cycle and accept if anything goes wrong you might have to lamb in may 🙃
 
Chuck a horny Welsh lamb in with them, he’ll shàg 150 on his own no problem!! 🙈
When I was about 12 dad had 220 ewe lambs lamb in march/April and they weren't supposed to be anywhere near a ram.
Eventually found a ram lamb with no visible balls in with them at shearing time. He had served the bloody lot himself his balls must have been up inside him.
 

Guiggs

Member
Location
Leicestershire
Risk of a non working ram lamb aside a fit and able ram lamb reared on forage not fat and fed out if a trough would/should do 50 ewes. Something overfed and unfit then 20odd is probably enough.
You'd just have to watch for repeats as they come into their next cycle and accept if anything goes wrong you might have to lamb in may 🙃
This is what I thought, 50 ewes to a fit and not over fed ram lamb should be doable. Maybe I'll chuck him in a week earlier to have a chance of rectifying the situation if he's a duffer!
 

Guiggs

Member
Location
Leicestershire
When I was about 12 dad had 220 ewe lambs lamb in march/April and they weren't supposed to be anywhere near a ram.
Eventually found a ram lamb with no visible balls in with them at shearing time. He had served the bloody lot himself his balls must have been up inside him.
Typical, on on the flip side we are talking about spending good money on rams to do a job that can't cover more than a handful incase they drop dead!
 
What breed of ram are you going for?
What ever it is I would put some marker paint on his chest, not a raddle, and see how many he does. Call it an experiment and tell us the results so that we can all make an informed decision if any of us are in the same situation.
With 50 old Welsh what do you have to lose, kill the barreners and if there’s to many replace them with inlambers nearer the time.
 

Guiggs

Member
Location
Leicestershire
What breed of ram are you going for?
What ever it is I would put some marker paint on his chest, not a raddle, and see how many he does. Call it an experiment and tell us the results so that we can all make an informed decision if any of us are in the same situation.
With 50 old Welsh what do you have to lose, kill the barreners and if there’s to many replace them with inlambers nearer the time.
Probably a charolais although I'd be tempted to try a charmoise if I can find one fairly local.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
This is what I thought, 50 ewes to a fit and not over fed ram lamb should be doable. Maybe I'll chuck him in a week earlier to have a chance of rectifying the situation if he's a duffer!

As above, he should be perfectly capable of tupping 50 ewes (I use mine at 1:50-60 every November, but in a multiple group), it’s just if there’s a problem….

Would a delayed/extended lambing, or no lambing at all, cost you more than a second ram?
The same gamble is there with single ram mating, even if it’s an unproven shearling.
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
I have around 20 ram lambs working every year.. yes it does stunt their growth slightly when they have hundreds to do but the potential is still in them…
 

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