ganisms to adjust to the next ration.
Every ram requires approximately 25 kg
of creep feeding until it is weaned at 100
Good feed management requires mon-
itoring of the ram lamb's progress by the
farmer. Decide what the weight of your
rams should be at two-tooth selling stage,
draw up a table and monitor by weighing
on a monthly basis.
Should the ram lamb weigh 40 kg at
weaning age and its target weight is 88
kg, its weight has to increase by 48 kg
over 12 months (365 days). Monitor if it
grows by approximately 4 kg per month
or 110 grams, as required.
CARE OF THE RAM LAMB
The next guidelines are valuable in ensur-
ing good ram management from weaning
• At + 42 days, take fecal samples and
dose if necessary. This is also a good
time to do trace element and vitamin
A supplements to strengthen mucous
• At 80 days, inject against pulpy kidney
and pasteurella to limit mortalities after
• Wean at 100 days and weigh the ram.
Performance measurement starts her
and is also required for BLUP selection
later on. Weaning selection is done
and 15% to 20% of the poorest ram
performers are rejected. It is import-
ant to record the descendants which
do not grow in order to discriminate
against the parents. Sell poor perform-
ers. The birth register and weaning
record must be sent to SA Pedigree.
After weaning, rams can do the
so-called libido course. Approximately
30 poor performing ewes are put in
a pen with the ram lambs and they
continuously mate with the ewes. It
improves libido and mating skills,
which makes them top performers in
respect of future reproduction.
Ram lambs are also shorn at this
stage. Fleece is weighed to assist
with the decision as to whether other
lambs should be shorn or whether they
should be sold with their wool.
During this period, Rev 1 can be
administered to increase immunity
against brucella ovis.
Rams must get a lot of exercise - being
fit improves fertility. The mating ability
of overweight and unfit rams is usually
not very good.
180 days after having been shorn,
the performance of the lambs is eval-
uated. They are weighed, a 30-gram
wool sample is taken from the mid-
rib areas and sent to the SA Wool
Testing Bureau for analysis. The ram
is also shorn and the fleece weighed.
Performance forms must be completed
scrupulously and accurately and sent
to SA Pedigree.
HANDLING OF RAMS AT AN AUCTION
Auction rams will carry 6 to 7 months'
wool on auction day. Take a last small
wool sample (EST) which is tested for
Micron, Sd, CV and Comfort % and indi-
cated at the second test on the catalogue.
Final evaluation is done by the inspectors
at the auction. Rams must be tested for
fertility and a certificate has to be handed
to the buyer.
Rams are exposed to a lot of stress
at auctions. It is therefore necessary that
rams should eat and drink well before
being loaded. Handling at the auction,
transport and feed adjustment can result
in temporary infertility. It is fatal to shear a
ram shortly after an auction since it could
result in total infertility. Keep feed constant
(seller could add a bag of pellets to the
transaction), and allow the rams time to
adjust and to rest in order to avoid infertili-
ty as a result of adjustment. Assist the ram
with adjusting to its new environment by
dosing with Protexin Solube, Bioboost or
Bio-min. Remember to innoculate against
pulpey kidney and pasteurella.
Rams make a huge contribution to the
economic performance of the herd and
for this reason, ram management should
commence six weeks before birth and
should be sustained.
SENWES SCENARIO | WINTER 2019