2014-09-08   facebooktwitterrss

Top Tup Tips for Ram Sale

They’ll be coming in their thousands, preened, brushed and cosseted, and from all corners of Great Britain, to the Royal Welsh Showground where the main NSA Wales & Border Ram Sale takes place on Monday, 22 September 2014.

Each and every one represents at least two years of intense care and attention, and their breeding goes back decades. The prices paid reflect the flockmaster’s commitment to the future of his or her own flock.

NSA Wales & Border Ram Sale

© NSA Wales & Border Ram Sale 2013

These range a few hundred guineas to last year’s top price of 8,000 guineas for a Texel ram that proceeded to pick up championships at all the major shows. But, whatever the price paid and whether they come from Cornwall, Cambridge, or the Orkney Isles, they are worth that little bit of extra attention.

NSA Wales & Border Ram Sales Veterinary Officer, West Wales vet Angus Wyse, advises a check list for flockmasters, to ensure optimum performance of breeding stock, before tupping begins.

Condition scoring is essential to ensure the ewes and rams are in the correct condition for optimum fertility. And it’s vital to protect the home flock from any disease or resistance that can be brought in.

He says: “The ewes will have been selected by now and any not fit for breeding culled, especially taking note of teeth and udders. We then make sure nutrition is right to bring them into a good condition score of three to three and a half for tupping, and then maintaining that may mean holding them back from the grass to avoid issues with over fat ewes over the winter.

“It’s been a good year and the ewes are looking well. I think it’s almost worth thinking that if a ewe is in poor condition now, after she’s been weaned for a while, is there something wrong with her?

“It might be important to check out for fluke and worms. A lot of ewes will have been rearing twins and lost a lot of body condition and need a bit of time to recover before tupping, so it’s all about attention to detail.

“Rams should have a pre tupping MOT. Check their teeth, testicles, and body condition and we want to make sure they have good feet, because there will be a lot of chasing around! Controlling foot rot is very important.

“Teeth are very important and anything that isn’t able to make good use of grass may need a bit of supplementary feed to get them up to the right condition before they go in with the ewes. It may be worth considering whether it is worth their being kept for another year.”

And Angus also urges quarantine for bought in or returning stock wherever possible, to ensure, in particular, that anthelmintic resistant worms or scab are not brought in.

NSA

Related Links
link Ballymena Farmer Wins NSA Recruitment Prize
link Ruthin Lleyn Rams Reach 6,200gns
link Appreciation of Work Behind NSA Scot Sheep 2014
link Fantastic Clearance Rates for the first Lleyn Sale of the Season


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