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Breeding Soundness in Rams: How to Do It...

Clell V. Bagley DVM, Utah State University


n order for ram breeding soundness examinations to be of maximum value to producers they must be relatively thorough as well as consistent. There is so much normal variation between rams that we cannot afford to add additional variability by lack of observation or inconsistent techniques. The goal of the examination is to classify the potential breeding ability of each ram into one of four general categories: 1) unsatisfactory breeder, 2) questionable breeder, 3) satisfactory breeder, or 4) excellent breeder. This is challenging in the best of circumstances. It is made more difficult by economic pressures, weather problems, lack of technical assistance and the constraints of time and facilities. Most of these problems can be reduced or eliminated with planning and effective communication.