Achieving a good pregnancy rate is only possible with healthy and fertile rams. Highly fertile rams improve the overall reproductive efficiency of the flock by producing more viable lambs in a shorter period of time. It is thought that 10% of breeding rams are infertile and that at least 20% are sub-fertile. Such rams can have a dramatic effect on flock performance and profitability with high barren rates (target<5%), low lambing percentages and protracted lambing periods. Breeding soundness exams should be carried out annually and at least 10 weeks before tupping. It consists of a thorough physical examination with emphasis on the reproductive system.
The fertility test will involve
1. General physical exam, looking especially at conformation and dentition
2. Scrotal exam and measurement of testes
3. Examination of prepuce and penis
Assessment of your ram’s fertility allows his breeding potential to be used to its maximum. Breeding soundness exams can be carried out on farm or at the practice