22 August 1997

Action on ram lambs & tups

NEWLY-purchased ram lambs and tups are likely to be in sale condition, and should not be allowed to waste away once on-farm.

So cautions Signet consultant James Garner. "Continue to feed about 0.2kg concentrate/head/day to these animals. They will work off excess condition during tupping.

"Once they arrive on-farm, they should be dipped and dosed. Its worth making sure they are not bringing disease onto farm."

Newly-purchased tups and ram lambs should be isolated from the rest of the tups for a couple of weeks after they arrive on-farm, to allow them to settle in. They should be introduced carefully to the other tups well before tupping starts to reduce fighting, he says.

"Its also worth considering fertility insurance," he adds.

if you are buying new tups or ram lambs. For new animals, and for those already on-farm, sperm can be tested for motility and spermatozoa concentration.

"This can give a good indication of fertility, and should be discussed with your vet."