For some of you it may still seem like a long time until the rams go out to the ewes but now would be a good time to look through your available rams to bring them up to working condition in time for the mating season.
Any rams that are in poorer body condition than expected should be examined. If a problem such as lameness can be found then the ram should be treated to allow the maximum time to regain body condition before he is required to work. Sperm take 2 months to produce and rams need to be in fit condition throughout that two months to achieve maximum fertility. Taking a look at rams two weeks before you want to use them is likely to be too late to treat problems found and get them back into working order.
All rams should at least have an examination of body condition, feet, teeth and testicles. The testes should be examined to check if they are of equal size and consistency. Any rams with swellings or firm areas require further investigation as they may have poor fertility.
Remember the ram sales are starting soon so it is wise to do a full stock take to ensure you know how many rams are required.
Marion McMillan, email@example.com.
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