Sometimes we make choices that we regret to a point, I like King my new ram, he is a good boy, but I miss both Horny and Whiskey. I should have kept them for more years. I liked that both of them sheer out their wool coats on their own, where King lets some go on his back but still needs to be sheared on his sides and front. Whiskey was a total suck and loved his cookies so was so easy to catch.. King is respectful but he is not friendly. Makes catching him a lot harder. I need to get a collar on him to help as he is a VERY large male.
This year is our first year with him as a new flock ram and he gets high points for easy of lamb to be delivered, he gets high points for strong active lambs, great growth rates, good depth of loin and nice meaty rear’s on his babies. I am greatly looking forward to see what he passes on in terms of milky traits.
Over the past week, I have seen three ewes breed by King and I will mark it down on the calendar. I did not see any breeding in Aug, so that puts my first lambs due in Feb, unless someone slipped in there last month that I didn’t see.. its possible..
However I am leery on this.. you see on average in a rough way, sperm is started being made about 3 months before its needed, and when sperm in pretty much any stage is over heated, it goes.. NOPE and that’s just that.. If it’s overheated by a mear 4 degree’s compared to normal, you will have a run of sperm that is Blanks.. the boy’s are breeding, but they are not swimming.
So the question for me is this? was Kings low hanging boys in our major extended heat waves in Late June/ July/Aug going to have an effect on his boys. These times were hot enough that it was clearly stressing the sheep, they hide in the shade, they panted and they dug into the soil to lay on it in shade, they hide in the barn during the worst of it etc.
I am not sure that I am going to have good sperm till late Oct or early Nov given the year we have had. The only way to even have an idea on if I am right is to watch the girls, I have the three females that are in heat and have been breed marked down and if they cycle again in another 21 days give or take.. then they didn’t catch and they are all proven healthy mature females that normally catch well.
I know that the heat has effected the fertile rates of my eggs and my hatching rates from my different fowl over the summer. I certainly did not want or need more babies hatched. I have lots of babies as it is.. however that does not change the fact that there is a noticeable different in our hatch rate with the heat waves.
We will see how it goes.. but if I am right.. Then my girls will most likely catch late and be lambing in April 2019. Time will give me the answer. Have you seen fertile rates being effected by higher than normal temps?
I know years ago our breed boar was running a temperature- just a general run of the mill flu type thing….and yes – higher than normal body temperatures will kill the sperm as well. We controlled when we let the sows in with the boat – so never bred in the heat of summer, but I could see how that might have an effect.
I saw the effect on my breeding rabbet bucks this year, the roosters for sure and I am watching my sheep with a eye that says.. the odds are he has been effected as well.. I can see that with the boar for sure