Friday, February 8, 2008

A temporary new addition

We have a ram, and isn't he pretty! He is not permanent we are just renting him. Yep we picked him up from his pimp a couple weeks ago, it is prostitution but totally legal. I was concered about how to introduce him to the flock- my dog behavior thinking- when I asked the woman who we are renting him from she said you just open the gate and say have fun ladies! I am not sure if they are having fun but they don't seem to mind him. Just to let you know a ewe in heat is nothing like a cat or a dog, you can not tell.

Some information:

A ewe comes into heat or estrus for 30 hours every 17 days, so we hope to keep this ram for about 45 days that way we will make sure that he has serviced all the ladies. A ewe's gestation is 148 days or 5 months that will put us into a June lambing. We would like to have the lambs normally in May but this year has been so crazy and if we plan on moving them up to Pine City it will be easier to move them without the lambs. All of our ewes are twining ewes and if they all have twins this year we could end up with 12 lambs, or maybe the will have triplets!
Some sheperds use a marking harness for there ram. A marking harness is a harness that a crayon is put into and when the ram mounts the ewe he leaves a colored mark. After one heat cycle you would change the crayon and if the ewe ends up with another color mark you know that the first encounter did not take. It is a better way of keeping track of due dates, and gives you more confidence in your lambing rate. Again this year was so crazy we decided to forgo the harness.

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