Vasectomies in Rams

Vasectomies in Rams
Vasectomy in the Ram is a management technique used principally to increase conception rates in a compacted lambing period. The ewe flock is isolated for at least one month from sight, smell and the sound of rams or wethers after which a vasectomised ram is put with the flock for a period of twelve days. The vasectomised ram is then removed and replaced by normal rams. Provided the ewes were at the point of cycling, a close compacted lambing should occur usually in two peak periods some six to eight days apart.

Choosing Rams to be vasectomised
Rams should be strong and healthy with good incisor teeth occlusion, sound feet and no signs of any arthritic condition and/or head or brisket sores. Young rams are preferable to older failed stud animals because they are relatively easy to operate on and there is less risk of them having previously acquired transmissible disease. The chosen rams should have had some sexual experience and have well developed genitalia. The penis and prepuce should be normal and the testicles free of any palpable lesions from Brucellosis.

Surgical procedure
The ram is sedated and local anaesthetic is injected into the operation site. The procedure takes about twenty minutes and there should be no complications post operatively. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatories are given after surgery. Vasectomised rams may pass sperm for several days after surgery and it is generally advised to wait three to four weeks after surgery before using these rams. There can be recanalization of the spermatic cord, but this is rare.

The Vasectomised rams should be joined with the ewes for a 12 days at a ratio of 1 ram to 200 ewes. Vasectomised rams can injure themselves and tire just as easily as ordinary rams. If they are to be used over a period of time with different mobs, keeping to this ratio will be beneficial.

Vasectomised rams will last for a good number of years but should be palpated each year for Brucellosis. The cost of the surgery and drugs is around $100 plus GST; this is an inexpensive way to increase conception rates and compact the lambing period.

Date Added: Tuesday, 26th January 2016