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Reproduction

Getting the best out of mating performance is crucial to maximise the 

number of lambs that can ultimately be produced. 

Ram Palpations

It is always important to plan ahead for tupping and to have the breeding soundness of your rams checked by palpation.
 

Palpation assesses the size and dimensions of the testes as well as ensuring that there are no lumps present. Lumps can result from infection, inflammation or trauma, and generally means reduced fertility or complete infertility..

Booking in ram palpations early allows plenty of time to select any replacements if required, and it also means that you can correct any issues with ram conditions 

Brucella ovis

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease caused by members of the genus Brucella. It is an important zoonosis and is a significant cause of reproductive losses in animals.

It is naturally transmitted from ram to ram and/or ewe to ram by sexual activity, multiplying in the blood and localising most commonly in the testicle, which results in inflammed/blocked tubules.  The ram becomes permanently infected.

We recommend getting a  proportion of sire rams blood tested to comply with the voluntary Brucella ovis accreditation scheme to get certified. This scheme has had a massively positive impact on NZ ram fertility and reducing the incidence of brucellosis nationwide. 

Contact us for more information on testing.

Vasectomies

Vasectomised rams can be useful as a management tool to help synchronise ewe cycling for the first cycle.  

 

Vasectomies can be performed on rams – often well grown young ram lambs or ram hoggets which  can then be reused for many years ongoing. 

 

It is worth noting that a reasonable amount of spermatozoa persist in the remainder of the ram’s reproductive tract for a month or more after vasectomy, so we suggest planning any surgeries of this nature well in advance of joining the rams to avoid unexpected early lambs.

Nutrition

The single most important factor determining the reproductive performance in ewes is nutrition.

 

Ewes in optimal body condition  are more likely to have twins or triplets, with a  higher survival rate, and generally bigger lambs at weaning. Ideally all ewes should be at a body condition score (BCS) between 2.5-3.5.

 

Provide them with a rising plane of nutrition for 3-4 weeks before and during mating, as any weight loss at this time will have a detrimental effect on the ewe and lambs on the ground. 

Note that Selenium deficiency can lead to a lower implantation rate of eggs into the uterus. 

 

 

Abortion In Ewes

 Abortions in ewes are the result of many factors that stress the pregnant animal. Intrauterine infections are the most common causes.

Toxoplasmosis

Campylobacter

Salmonella

Non Infectious Causes  

Mating Hoggets

Vasectomised rams can be useful as a management tool to help synchronise ewe cycling for the first cycle.  

 

Vasectomies can be performed on rams – often well grown young ram lambs or ram hoggets which  can then be reused for many years ongoing. 

 

It is worth noting that a reasonable amount of spermatozoa persist in the remainder of the ram’s reproductive tract for a month or more after vasectomy, so we suggest planning any surgeries of this nature well in advance of joining the rams to avoid unexpected early lambs.

Ewes