Wool Covered Jewels

Lambing during the warm summer means breeding is during the cold winter.

During our first couple years raising sheep I never gave this any thought whatsoever. But today is a few year later and I now have another one of those unanticipated blips of country life under my belt.

Woolly testicles are important.

Yes, seriously.

Let me explain.

Rams will still breed ewes no matter how cold but the cold may affect the outcome.

During breeding rams have one obvious thing on their mind. Because they are very focused and work very hard many rams lose body weight and condition during breeding. Losing condition during cold weather means they can quickly lose stamina.

During very cold weather the sperm count will diminish. This is when a good woolly covering on the testicles is valuable. 

Loss of stamina combined with loss of sperm can mean open ewes.

If a stretch of cold weather is predicted during breeding some producers will keep rams indoors during the day to rest and bring the ewes in to the rams at night. Or they will keep an extra group of fresh rams to switch with the first group part way through breeding. Either way, they'll still make sure the boys are well fleeced - everywhere. 


Comments

  1. Holy cow! I never thought about that! Here in Texas we don't really have that problem, but I can see how in your neck of the woods, that could be a serious issue. Wow . . . I learn something new every day!

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  2. I was equally amazed when I learned about the planning around winter breeding. And I live here!

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