Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Controlled Breeding Plan

We love our sheep and are very proud of the sheep we have bred. We started breeding stud sheep in 2006 after deciding to down size the flock from 250 commercial breeding ewes to 150 stud ewes and concentrate on breeding top quality White Dorper rams. Our first drop embryo transfer (ET)Stud White Dorper lambs arrived in April of 2007

Here are the original first and second cross Dorper sheep in 2005

We have 3 top quality breeding rams and normally Kim will divide the flock into lots of fifty and put a ram in with each flock. However, this year after speaking with the South African inspector Kim decided to try controlled breeding. Using this method the ewes breeding cycle is is controlled and you know when the ewe is ready for the ram.
 Two weeks prior to joining CIDR's are inserted into the ewes and left in place for 14 days. The CIDR's are removed and a hormone injection is given then, 48 hours later, the ram is placed with the ewes.
We are repeating this method with five ewes at a time. This means we will know exactly when the lambs are due and can monitor the ewes closely. We are hoping for 130% lambing or better, we will know after 147 days how the first batch worked out. This method will mean a lot of extra work for Kim so we will be very intersted in the results.
EAZI-BREED™ CIDR® Sheep Insert 
The EAZI-BREED™ CIDR® Sheep Insert is a convenient and effective method for inducing estrus in production animals. EAZI-BREED™ CIDR® Sheep Insert contain the natural hormone progesterone. Intra-vaginally placed CIDR's release progesterone at a controlled rate into the blood stream

We put a harness on the ram with chalk so when he mounts the ewes a red mark will be left. We put the ram and his first five ewes together yesterday, and I think Leroy, the type 5 ram was very busy last night.
The sheep are in the process of shedding their fleece and look a bit ratty.

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