Majority of sheep producers could improve ram conditions

A new survey has revealed that 56% of sheep producers could improve the way they maintain the conditions of their rams during the breeding period. 

The research by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) comes ahead of the next breeding season for ewes. While most of the focus may be on the female sheep, HCC highlighted that producers ought to consider the health status of their tups to make the most of investments.

“Simply turning rams out to a field for winter could mean that some ailments are being left unseen or untreated and can become a bigger problem at the end of the summer,” commented HCC’s industry development officer Gwawr Parry.

“It is important to undertake a full ‘ram MOT’ prior to the breeding season, looking at their testicles, body condition score, feet and teeth, and whether their vaccinations and fluke treatments are up to date,” he added.

“Ensuring rams are at peak condition could make a difference of hundreds of pounds in financial returns for farm businesses.”

Tom Searle, of South Wales Farm Vets, is one of a rising number of veterinarians who has established a ram fertility package for farmers to test their rams. Available as of last year, the package will continue into this year’s lambing season.

Searle explained: “It is important that farmers are aware of their rams’ fertility status, as well as applying the correct management strategy. A ram that is sub-fertile could be costing farms in terms of barren ewes and an increase in lambing spread.”

The ‘Fit, Fertile and Profitable: the year-round approach to ram management’ booklet is available from HCC on 01970 625050 or via the website hccmpw.org.uk.

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