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AWEX EMI 1152 +15
Micron 17 1719 +25
Micron 18 1543 +20
Micron 19 1422 +18
Micron 20 1352 +2
Micron 21 1312 +26
Micron 22 1286 +11
Micron 23 1253 +6
Micron 25 736n +1
Micron 26 566 +27
Micron 28 372 +7
Micron 30 340 +7
Micron 32 292 -1
MCar 724 +5

Rams are high performance animals that work very hard over the joining period. They contribute half of the genetics of their progeny and are the primary drivers of genetic improvement in a flock, so need to be given every opportunity to pass on their genes.

Proper preparation for joining sets the stage for reproductive success and overall productivity of the flock.

Rams and ewes must be in optimal condition and free from stress and disease to maximise conception rates across a five-week joining period. When practical, the time of joining should coincide with the availability of high-quality feed during late pregnancy and lactation to support the increased nutritional demands of ewes.

Nutrition is the primary determinant of reproductive rate and ewes in higher condition score conceive more lambs. Rams in particular work very hard over the joining period and need to be in peak physical condition. It is important that the breeding flock is assessed for their health and fitness prior to joining. The preparation of ewes and rams for joining begins at the end of the previous weaning period. To ensure a successful joining:

  • Conduct pre-joining checks on rams 12 weeks before joining
  • Conduct udder assessments on ewes from four weeks post-weaning
  • Target CS 3 for ewes and CS 3.5 for rams at joining
  • Avoid joining sheep with full wool and shearing within two weeks of joining
  • Separate maiden ewes and mature ewes at joining as they require different joining percentages
  • Determine the joining percentage

Resources

Join Nathan Scott as he outlines why it’s so important to manage your rams to be in peak physical condition for joining, the time it takes to have rams at peak sperm production and practical management tips to help you achieve your joining goals in #AWIChangeMakers Episode 3: Ram performance management.

Time of joining will set out your whole reproductive schedule and determine when your ewes’ nutritional demands will peak. Join Nathan Scott as he outlines the considerations and impacts of joining time and length, with practical management tips for you when deciding what will work for your operation #AWIChangeMakers Episode 5: Joining time and length.

RAMPING UP REPRO CHECKLIST FOR PRE-JOINING
Performing pre-joining checks on your ram team 12 weeks prior to joining allows you to pick up any issues and check your rams are in top condition. AWI and Zoetis’ Checklist for Pre-Joining is a quick reference checklist you can use when performing pre-joining checks on your ram team. Check their condition score, general health and parasite control is taken care of in plenty of time to hi...

Performing pre-joining checks on your ram team 12 weeks prior to joining allows you to pick up any issues and check your rams are in top condition.

AWI and Zoetis’ Checklist for Pre-Joining is a quick reference checklist you can use when performing pre-joining checks on your ram team. Check their condition score, general health and parasite control is taken care of in plenty of time to hit peak performance prior to the start of joining.

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SHEEP SELECTION TOOLS
The modern Merino is a complex animal, expected to produce large amounts of high quality wool, compete with specialised breeds in the global red meat market, rear enough progeny to be self-replacing and generate surplus sheep sales. Luckily, there are many tools available to help you choose the right sheep to fit your breeding objective. The benefits of each of these tools are outlined in AWI's...

The modern Merino is a complex animal, expected to produce large amounts of high quality wool, compete with specialised breeds in the global red meat market, rear enough progeny to be self-replacing and generate surplus sheep sales.

Luckily, there are many tools available to help you choose the right sheep to fit your breeding objective. The benefits of each of these tools are outlined in AWI's Sheep Selection Tools publication, allowing you to use tools that are most appropriate to the traits you’re selecting for.

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