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Best Practice Teasing to Optimise Oestrus Synchronisation
The introduction of rams, including vasectomised (infertile) rams or testosterone-treated wethers, stimulates ewes to commence cycling. This practice is known as ‘teasing’ and rams used for this purpose are called ‘teasers’. It is particularly important for out of season breeding i.e. any time before February.
The number of teasers used should be equal to the number of rams (1-2%) or double for testosterone-treated wethers (2-4%).
A harness may be fitted to the ram to mark the ewes to give an indication of when most of the ewes are cycling (see photo).
The breeding rams can be introduced 14 days after the teasers, once the teasers have been taken out (Diagram 1).
Note that keeping the breeding rams in a paddock adjacent to the ewes for two weeks prior to the start of mating will have a similar effect to teasing.
The pattern of lamb births will give an indication of whether the ewes were ready for joining i.e. if there are only a few lambs in the first ten days of lambing, ewes were not ready. If there is a flush of lambs in the first ten days, ewes were properly prepared for mating.