Tupping the ewes – an insider’s guide. 19/11/2013
The rams started in early October here at Foylehov's home in Carrowmena Farms. We put harnesses on them with coloured crayons on their chests, so that we can tell if a ewe has been ‘covered’ by the ram or not. This year we have put about 60 ewes for each ram through per cycle. This compares well to previous years, where it was about 30 ewes per cycle, and so far we haven’t seen any drop in the numbers covered.
We are now reaching the end of the tupping cycle, being in our third cycle of 3. For the uninitiated - cycles are the length of time the ewe is in heat – which is 17 days. We have had greater control of the tupping with the new EID software, so we were able to control the numbers of ewes that will lamb over a certain time in the month of March. Normally we would use 4 cycles but due to the accuracy of the new system, we have only needed 3 cycles this year. Also the software will know which tup (ram) has served which ewe according to the lambing and gestation period of 147 days. Then next year we will be able to trace the progeny of the rams to see how each performs and make management decisions based on the information gathered e.g. faster growth rates, susceptibility to diseases, lamb vigour, and congenital health problems.
 
So now you know!

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The rams started in early October. We put harnesses on them with coloured crayons on their chests, so that we can tell if a ewe has been ‘covered’ by the ram or not. This year we have put about 60 ewes for each ram through per cycle. This compares well to previous years, where it was about 30 ewes per cycle, and so far we haven’t seen any drop in the numbers covered.
 
We are now reaching the end of the tupping cycle, being in our third cycle of 3.  For the uninitiated - cycles are the length of time the ewe is in heat – which is 17 days.  We have had greater control of the tupping with the new EID software, so we were able to control the numbers of ewes that will lamb over a certain time in the month of March. Normally we would use 4 cycles but due to the accuracy of the new system, we have only needed 3 cycles this year. Also the software will know which tup (ram) has served which ewe according to the lambing and gestation period of 147 days. Then next year we will be able to trace the progeny of the rams to see how each performs and make management decisions based on the information gathered e.g. faster growth rates, susceptibility to diseases, lamb vigour, and congenital health problems.

 So now you know!