There is a couple of differant ways to do the matings of the ewes:
- Individual Mating – This is where a specific ram are left with a selected group of ewes. A good norm is 20 – 25 ewes per ram, depending on the size of the camp. With this method record keeping can still be done quite easily. For the best conception rate allow 3 cycles.
- Mass Mating – This is when you leave 3 -4% of rams with ewes in a camp. Record Keeping is not possible as it is difficult to know which ram mated which ewe.
- Hand Mating – With this method ewes that are on heat is brought to a specific ram and then mated by this ram. Teaser rams is used to show which ewes are on heat.
- Artificial and Laparoscopic Insemination – This is done when ewes are synchronised by inserting a hormone – treated sponge or CIDR into the vagina. This will stop the process of ovulation. After two weeks the sponge or CIDR is withdrawn and ovulation will occur 44 – 56 hours later. The ewe is then inseminated either with fresh semen collected from a ram via an artificial vagina or with frozen semen. The following shows semen being collected with an artificial vagina.