Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Shepherdess Notes: Breeding Season

We have pretty well behaved boys (rams) for the most part, but this time of year all bets are off. I always remind everyone, AGAIN,  that even the best behaved ram can show signs of aggression, especially during breeding season.

We have 10 days left before the rams will be put in with the ewes. I can't wait until then! Our Tunis Ram has been a real troublemaker this past week, he keeps busting out and getting in with the girls (which we do not want). Emmet, our Border Leicester ram, is usually  a real sweetheart, but even he has been drawing his ears back and acting like a rascal during feeding time.

They are not any better when they are put in with the ewes, but at least we can stop worrying about them breaking out of confinement.

What are we doing to get ready for breeding season? 

We do a check of all of the ewes to make sure they are healthy.

You really need do a hands on check of body condition. You cannot tell, with all of that wool, if they are a little thin by just looking at them. If the ewes show they are a little thin , we can give them some grain for a couple of weeks before breeding, which is referred to as "flushing"

It is a good time to look at hooves, and make sure they do not need trimmed. We are fortunate that our ewes rarely need a trim, but if they do, this is a good time to do it.

Our sheep will be given a dose of dewormer, when we do the body condition check. That is not always needed, but I feel this year, it is.

We will also take the ewe lambs and separate them from the rest of the flock. If they do get bred their first year, it will not be until  later.

I am digging out the Ram Marking Harness, making sure I have crayons/markers to use with them. I like using the Harnesses because I know when and if a ewe has been bred.  With this being the first year with this Tunis Ram, it will be nice to know if he is actually doing what he is supposed to be doing.

The Tunis ewes will be put in the barnyard with the Tunis Ram, and our Border Leicester Ram will be put out on pasture with the Border Leicester ewes. I admit, I miss the days of ONE ram, but with the two breeds, we have opted for two ram. It makes things a little more difficult, but it is manageable.

Only ten more days...hopefully the boys will not cause too much trouble before then!

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  1. Oh be careful. Same here but with a bull you have to always be watching. Hug B

    1. Bulls would be so much more intimidating! Your brave, dealing with those big boys!!

  2. My boy goats have been a handful this time of year also. One is a buck and the other a wether. The wether has learned how to get out of the way fast! I am sure he wonders why his normally tolerable counterpart is so worked up and smells so bad. I am glad I don't the more than one. Good luck!

    1. Oh yes, that wonderful buck aroma, we have one of those too!!

  3. My buck goat is out with the girls now, but he broke through two fences before it was time to let him out. He's normally a real gentleman, even during breeding season, but I'm always watching him anyway. And I don't want him touching me or rubbing against me because he STINKS. LOL We used to have half a dozen hair sheep, but we sold them because of the ram. He was aggressive no matter what time of year it was.

  4. We are hoping to build a Boer goat herd. Right now we only have two, and our breeder is a really great guy who let us use his buck. I am a bit nervous about getting a buck down the road, mostly because of our younger kids. Our breeder's buck was nice as can be, even in with the girls during breeding season. I was shocked to see that!


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