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National Coopworth Ram Sale

Will be held 24th October 2016
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As the silly season fast approaches many commercial producers start to consider ram purchases for the coming year.  It is important to not only give thought to what new rams might be required but also the ram battery that you already have on your property.  Quite often they get neglected and probably sometimes get the worst treatment of any mob of sheep on the farm, when in fact they are potentially the most important.

Rams should preferably be shorn a minimum of 8 weeks before they are required for work.  It is a good idea to use a sedative at shearing time, especially for terminal sires, both as an OH&S benefit to the shearers and also the wellbeing of the rams.  Be aware though that the sedative lasts a few hours after shearing, causing lack of awareness and rams not able to realise the need for shade or shelter. 

Another thing that is often overlooked is at least one annual booster of at least a 6 in 1 vaccine.  I believe it’s a good idea to treat them at least twice annually as the cost of the vaccine is minimal, compared to the cost of replacement rams.  A fat ram in the spring is a great candidate for pulpy kidney and vaccination only protects animals for 3 months after the last vaccination.   A good reminder is when the vaccine bag is primed for lamb marking or pre lambing vaccination, run the rams in and vaccinate them too. 

When the kids say “show us your muscles Dad”, grab your bicep- this is what the main body of a rams testicles should feel like on a good fit ram ready for work.  They should also be of the same size with no abnormal lumps or bumps. If in doubt or any lumps are present, it is a really good idea to get them checked by a vet to rule out the possibility of brucellosis and potentially a failed joining.  Remember lamb production is the main game here and a poor conception result can really hurt financially.  Putting rams out with the ewes that are not sound and fertile potentially drags ewes away from the fit rams. 

Other general health practises like drenching (if needed) and early treatment of any lameness including abscess is also highly recommended.

Matt Tonissen
Chrome Sheep Studs

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