Ram replacement and fertility
When bringing in replacement rams, be mindful of the health of both the new animals and your existing ram flock. Check your newly purchased replacements rams before they are loaded for transport home then, when they are delivered, isolate them from your other animals.
Quarantining new rams
To reduce risks from new animals you should always:
- purchase new stock from a known and reliable source
- request the history of livestock and obtain supporting paperwork, such as animal health statements
- ensure movement requirements are met
- quarantine new sheep on arrival.
Find out more about checking replacement rams on arrival.
The fertility of replacement rams
It's important to plan ahead when timing your replacement rams' arrival. Mustering, yarding, transporting and shearing are all stressful situations that are associated with taking delivery of rams, and each are capable of adversely affecting fertility.
Any fertility problems associated with delivery should be relatively short lived, but it can take up to 8 weeks before viable sperm is produced. To allow for this, you should plan delivery no later than 8 weeks before the intended date of joining.
Rams need time to adapt to a new environment
Rams that are not locally bred, and from a better environment, are much more likely to be affected by a change of location. They can take 6 months or more to adapt to their new surroundings and grazing conditions. You should think well ahead when purchasing rams from an environment that is not as harsh as the new environment where they will be expected to perform.