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  •  » New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

#31 2017-11-07 15:58:21

Sunfeathers
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From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1158

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

They're here!

https://s1.postimg.org/2zpvj56oq7/IMG_3106_2.jpg

Yes, I got the young ram too. :duh: They are a little lean but very tame and well-handled. So far they are easier than the chickens! Great, love them.

The ewe is registered. The ram is from a different line, is it worthwhile registering him? I'm not sure if the ewe has been bred but possibly, and to a different ram.

Last edited by Sunfeathers (2017-11-07 16:37:18)

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#32 2017-11-07 16:54:51

killerbunny
I Love A.C.E.
From: Brockville, Ontario
Registered: 2012-07-30
Posts: 3036

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

Congratulations!


Mixed collection of chickens, trio of Blue Columbian Wyandottes,BSW turkeys.
RIP Lucky the Very Brave splash Wyandotte rooster.
RIP little Muppet the rescue cat.

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#33 2017-11-07 23:46:11

Schipperkesue
Administrator
From: Carnwood, Alberta
Registered: 2010-04-08
Posts: 15431

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

Beautiful boys!


Embrace your mistakes....they are life's most meaningful education.

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#34 2017-11-08 00:12:03

susanr
Moderator
From: Grenfell, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2010-03-11
Posts: 4491

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

Very lovely sheep!  :congrats:


Friend to 2 house cats, 3 long-haired mini dachshunds, one outside cat, one guard dog, a few Dorking chickens, several  Isa Brown laying hens, some mutt chickens and 3 mules.  Jobs include gardener and assistant bee keeper.

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#35 2017-11-08 02:11:05

Crooked Coop
I Love A.C.E.
From: Saanich B.C.
Registered: 2009-07-17
Posts: 2158

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

It doesn't cost much to register them so who ever you bought the ram from should be able to do that for you, having the pedigree does increase market value. Also, I see you have page wire fence so once the ram's horns do a full curl he may get stuck in the wire. I had to extricate mine twice before he learned to not scratch on the fence! No hand feeding, and halter train to keep your boy respectful! It was the second year that my boy got testosterone poisoning!


Icelandic Sheep, heritage layers

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#36 2017-11-08 03:24:34

Sunfeathers
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From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1158

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

Thanks for the advice Crooked Coop. I'm not sure what to do about the fence, thanks for that info about horns. Would running a three or four strand electric wire fence on the inside of the page wire fix the problem?

The ewe is easy to lead so I'm hoping he'll learn from her. I know I need to be strict but he is so sweet! (now anyway). I met his dam and sire, both seemed calm and friendly. The sire is about 3 years old.

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#37 2017-11-08 13:25:43

Crooked Coop
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From: Saanich B.C.
Registered: 2009-07-17
Posts: 2158

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

It only happened twice, they are smart so do learn. I tried electric but if they have any depth to the wool they don't feel the zap. Mine did push at the bottom of the wire so a strand near the ground that would contact their noses would prevent this. I have a wether but he still likes to smash things so I threw in an exercise ball and got him a small punching bag to play with. They also love browsing so if they ran out of shrubs in the field I'd cut some willow or cottonwood branches for them, they eat the bark as well.


Icelandic Sheep, heritage layers

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#38 2017-11-08 15:57:22

Sunfeathers
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From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1158

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

Good to know. They are much smarter and more playful than I expected. Within a day and a half they learned where their stall was and now race in without a problem. I can give them lots of browse here with willow, poplar and maple.

How can I tell if they are a good weight? I can feel ribs and back easily and they seem thin to me but I don't want to get them too fat, either. I have an exercise ball (never gets used here-ha!). I'll throw it in with them.

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#39 2017-11-09 02:30:39

Crooked Coop
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From: Saanich B.C.
Registered: 2009-07-17
Posts: 2158

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

They do look thin, it is hard to tell with the wool but the best way to tell is the thigh, do they have big butts?


Icelandic Sheep, heritage layers

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#40 2017-11-10 15:32:25

Sunfeathers
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From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1158

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

No, not big in the rump. I can feel a lot of the pelvic structure:( I guess no one was checking them. The male has some good muscle of the thigh. If they were horses I rate them a 2-3 body score. I got them some alfalfa hay and they have second cut grass hay and, pasture, Sheep mineral block and dewormed last week. Is there anything else I should give them?

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#41 2017-11-11 12:17:22

Crooked Coop
I Love A.C.E.
From: Saanich B.C.
Registered: 2009-07-17
Posts: 2158

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

Go easy on the alfalfa as it's very high in calcium and super rich, I did try it when I first got them but found they ate the leaves and nothing else so wasted 90% of it. Mine get a couple of handfuls of sheep text each per day, free access to a mineral block specifically for sheep and second cut hay to supplement the pasture in the winter. As long as the grass is growing they get no hay, Icelandics are super easy keepers and do well on less than other larger sheep breeds. I kept their diet the same through pregnancy and nursing and the ewes did great, very healthy lambs. If you find them sleeping in their hay your feeding too much! You will be able to feel more bones on their back than horses so think about dairy cows as a point of reference, hence checking the thighs.

This is Chocolate Moose with her son, you can see after nursing this boy for three months she looks pretty good, so look at her topline, you can see the bony back even though her weight is good.

https://s19.postimg.org/8ngg8huwz/DSCF2416.jpg

Last edited by Crooked Coop (2017-11-13 02:41:31)


Icelandic Sheep, heritage layers

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#42 2017-11-12 16:27:48

Sunfeathers
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1158

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

Thanks Crooked Coop. Maybe I have overestimated their thinness. The male has a good thigh, the female not so great but she was nursing lambs all summer and maybe hasn't put weight back on yet. I've got a sheep mineral block and good 2nd cut hay and some sheep  tex. I'll save the alfalfa, they sure love it  though. Like yours, they are leaving the stems.

Yes, they are sleeping in their hay! I'm used to feeding horses so definitely feeding too much. They are starting to hang around with my horse a little. I'm hoping they will be good company for him and his hay clean-up crew. He wastes a lot of hay. It's funny to watch them because they are afraid of each other and run off in different directions when something startles them. They're slowly getting closer and closer. He normally has companion deer but during hunting season they disappear. This is also when he is most anxious. Hoping his sheep-buddies do the trick.

Unfortunately, your photo didn't show up. 

:sheep:

Last edited by Sunfeathers (2017-11-12 16:39:16)

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#43 2017-11-12 17:54:24

Crooked Coop
I Love A.C.E.
From: Saanich B.C.
Registered: 2009-07-17
Posts: 2158

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

stupid photobucket!


Icelandic Sheep, heritage layers

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#44 2017-11-13 02:47:51

Crooked Coop
I Love A.C.E.
From: Saanich B.C.
Registered: 2009-07-17
Posts: 2158

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

just for fun....

this is Char at 8 months old:

https://s19.postimg.org/s415v9idv/CCJett.jpg

his sister:

https://s19.postimg.org/ixiv7o077/Char_2010.jpg

Their father at 2 years old:

https://s19.postimg.org/53uiijn0j/Cole03_Sept09.jpg

Cinna chillin' with his "peeps"

https://s19.postimg.org/6vnhdkgoz/cottonwoods_030.jpg

and what you have to look forward to.

https://s19.postimg.org/f15jbqkdf/spring2012041-1.jpg


Icelandic Sheep, heritage layers

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