Buying a good ram

Fertile, good-quality sheep are key to better production, healthy lambs and high-quality meat. Since one ram mates with up to 40 ewes in a season, and its genetics make up half of the lamb flock, a good ram is very important. Buy the best ram you can afford, from a reputable breeder that you trust.

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Judging a ram:

Look at the ram from a distance to judge its body condition and conformation. Does it walk comfortably, or does it look stiff or sore anywhere?

  1. Feel the scrotum (testicles). It should not hang too loosely or be too rounded and both testicles must be there.
  2. Lift up each foot and examine it for sores or footrot, especially underneath.
  3. Feel the muscles around the thigh and rump – there should be good muscle covering these areas.
  4. The coat should not be dull.
  5. The belly should not be over-full.
  6. The ram should look alert and its senses must be sharp. See if he takes notice when you lead another sheep (ram, ewe or lamb) past him.
  7. Judge the age of the ram by looking at its teeth. The younger the ram, the longer you will be able to use him and the more lambs he’ll give you.