when are my sheep "done"? (errr, bred?)


11 Years
Jul 21, 2008
Nor Cal
So, I am new to the sheep thing -- I brought my first sheep (babydoll southdowns) home around February. I've had the ram separated from the ewes since July so I wouldn't end up with lambs too early. Since our climate is pretty mild, I figured Feb/March would be a good time to lamb.
And, drumroll please, I just put big papa ram in the pasture with the mamas-to-be! (I can't wait for little lambs!)
Somehow I was expecting that suddenly he'd be jumping all over the ewes. But, he isn't.
My question: how long do I have to leave him in there before I can consider them all "done"? I have a second ram lamb that is very lonely (in with my goat kids) -- he wants to return to his sheep pals as soon as possible, but I want to make sure all the ewes are bred by the other ram first.

So, should I expect to see them mating? Or do I just assume it happened when I wasn't around, after waiting a certain amount of time? I have only 3 ewes and they're right up behind my house so I see them many times a day. Any help would be appreciated...
When we lived in southern Oregon, we never expected any mating to occur before the first fall frost. That gave us lambs in April~May. East of the Cascades, lambing season was a couple of months earlier, because of their colder climate. Most of the 4H kids bought lambs from east side breeders, so the lambs would make weight by fair time. Some of those were born as early as December.

Edited to add: Our ram was in with the ewes all year long.
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You could always get one of those, uh, thingy that goes on the ram's chest with dye on it - raddle? Or isn't there a paint you can apply directly to the ram? So that when he covers a sheep he leaves a mark and you can tell she's been, as you say, "done" <giggle> at least once.

Oooh, the paint sounds like a good idea. I thought of the "raddle" at first but then thought that the pain of getting my ram in a harness (and then having to look at him, being so silly) wasn't worth it... plus, it seemed like an unnecessary cost... but direct paint would be cheaper. I'll have to look into that!

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