• Tel: 087 228 5654
  • Tel: 087 228 5654
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    Perfect Solutions for frequently asked questions and answers.

    What affects your ram’s fertility?

    At any given time 10-15% of rams will fail to mate with ewes or mate and fail to get ewes pregnant, this can be caused by a variety of factors which can include:

    • poor libido due to illness, old age or being immature
    • physical injury or damageto penis, hernia, lame foot or sores on the brisket
    • disease such as Brucella Ovis infection
    • poor nutrition or sudden change in diet can cause nutritional stress or ‘melt’
    • fever or heat stress through environmental conditions
    • excessive body condition or malnutrition
    • low testosterone levels

    The critical temperature at which ram semen begins to die off is 40oC or 104oF, it is important to monitor ram temperature, in the 6 weeks prior to the breeding season. The temperature of the testicles does not have to be raised very much or for long, for significant damage to semen production and semen quality to occur.

    The testicles need to be kept 4-5oC cooler than the ram’s core body temp as over-heating destroys semen producing cells in the testicles and the testicles may become soft and small. When a ram is identified as having a raised temperature of over 39.9oC, you should administer treatment as advised by your veterinary surgeon as soon as possible.

    Diet and nutrition

    Diet can also impact on ram fertility, when he has been consuming mostly cereals, the microbes in the rumen have adapted to digest cereals and not grass. When a ram is suddenly placed onto a grass only diet, it can take about 3 weeks for the microbes that can digest grass to predominate in the rumen and during that time the ram is losing weight, losing testicle mass and his fertility can suffer.
    When semen or semen production has been adversely affected it can take 6-7 weeks before the rams’ semen can fully develop and mature to a level where the semen will have the breeding potential to get a ewe pregnant.

    Preparing your ram for the breeding season

    Ideally have your ram on farm 8-10 weeks before the breeding season and carry out all necessary animal husbandry, dosing, foot trimming and any vaccines deemed necessary. A good source of multivitamin supplement in the lead up to the breeding season is just as important in rams as ewes.
    The trace element zinc has been found to significantly increases the motility, proportion of live sperm and proportion of intact membranes on the sperm of rams. While most multivitamin drenches will have adequate amounts of zinc available, there are only a small number of boluses on the market with zinc.
    When rams are purchased, it is important to get as much information from the seller as possible. This helps you build a picture of the ram’s history, diet, environmental factors and vaccines that have already been administered.
    Obtaining the information at the time of purchase, gives you the purchaser time to gradually adjust the rams diet over a few weeks. This will allow the microbes in the rumen to adjust gradually, over a few weeks, reducing the risk of ‘melt’ and allowing the ram to acclimatise to his new environment.

    What if a ram doesn’t give a sample

    On any given day 90% of rams will give a sample via artificial vagina. It is not always possible to collect from all rams, there can be various reasons for this which include:

    • Extremely nervous rams, which may not be used to humans in a confined space
    • High Temperature caused by infection or environmental conditions
    • Rams that are overfed or have a body score 5+ can struggle to mount, due to excessive weight which also can put the rear leg joints under stress when mounting
    • Rams that are quite young and have not yet reached sexual maturity

    What are your delivery charges for Ireland and the UK?

    Delivery for Ireland and Northern Ireland is €7.50
    Mainland U.K.  is €13

    For Any Query Please Contact Us at +353(0)87 228 5654