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Inspection of
Rams Pre-Joining

4 Ts
Shearing
Sheep

Inspection of Rams Pre-joining

Inspection of rams should take place 12 weeks prior to joining so that any problems can be treated and the rams allowed time to recover then have at least 6 weeks without being disturbed prior to joining. Examination of rams follows the principles of the ‘Four Ts’.

  • Teeth

    Ensure mouth is in good condition with no loose or broken teeth.

  • Toes

    Examine for overgrown or deformed toes, cracks, impacted dirt, separation of wall and sole, pink colour of interdigital skin or swellings that may indicate toe or foot abscess. Trim feet if necessary but be careful not to cut too deep i.e. do not draw blood.

  • Tackle

    This means the pizzle or penis. With the ram sitting on its hindquarters, the penis can be gently everted from the prepuce and examined. Check there is no swelling or scarring of the penis and that the urethral process is intact. Also check the prepuce for swelling or discharge that may indicate infection or trauma.

Penis_Urethral_Process_Diagram

  • Testes

    Using both hands grasp the testes and move them up and down in the scrotum. Any restriction of free movement indicates adhesions which form after trauma or infection. The testes should feel spongy and firm but springy like a solid rubber ball. The tail, body and head of the epididymis on both sides should be palpated to feel for any lumps or swelling that would indicate infection.

Rams_Testes_Inspection

Ram_Inspection_Shearing

  • Shearing

    Should be completed at least 6 weeks prior to mating. Lice treatment should be given immediately after shearing and rams kept away from other mobs. Rams can work well in wool, but a heavy fleece (especially if wet) can decrease their ability to walk and work.

Further Reading

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