Sunday, January 8, 2012

Are they bred?

My hubby is teasing me everday telling me my ram Brennan is "gay". He sniffs at the ewes and makes faces but we've never seen him mount one. He's just about a year old now.

The first ewe I purchased last March, Gypsy is definitely pregnant (she's started developing a milk bag) but she did have a ram lamb Otis last June, could it be possible that the lamb did the dastardly deed before he was sold? He left my farm when he was 4 months old.

I have three other ewes who are of breeding age, one Bella is about a year old, then there are two younger ones, one 10 months and the other 9 months. I would hope the yearling is covered.

I keep having to look up breeding information for lambs -when are they old enough to breed, how long are they in season etc. I found this nice chart at Sheep 201 and thought I'd post it here for future reference.

Reproductive characteristics of ewes
Age at puberty,
5 to 12 months
Length of estrus cycle, days
Duration of estrus, hours
Timing of ovulation
20-30 hours after start of estrus
Gestation, days

Rams are sexually mature at between 5-7 months old. If I follow this guideline I should be safe, Otis left at the end of September when he was 4 months old ( or at least I think that's when he left, I don't seem to have recorded the date) . However other sources say that a ram can breed as young as 3 months old!

I'll be watching Gypsy and checking the calendar and counting back days when the lamb is born. Perhaps Brennan is just shy and did the deed in the dark of the night?

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