Dorset Horn and Poll Dorset Sheep Breeder's Association

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Selection Your Stud Rams

The Dorset Horn Sheep Breeders' Association

Ideally the new breeder will have bought the best quality ewes that they can afford, but we do not live in an ideal world and there is always room for improvement. A careful inspection of the ewes to be mated should therefore be made before selecting a ram, to ascertain any potential weakness that may be present. The appropriate sire can then be selected with a view to correcting or accentuating any point. Always remember that a ram is equivalent to half your flock and his offspring will show this. Size is not of prime importance in a ram but conformation is.

It is essential that records be kept with regard to the sire and dam of offspring and that lambs are given an individual identity number to ascertain this. A "year letter" is used to identify the year of birth (e.g. the letter Z for 2001) followed by the individual identity number. This enables any animal's blood line to be traced back. This can be done by either tagging or tattooing but it is an Association requirement that the Flock identity number be tattooed onto the ear.

Recently a Sire Reference Scheme has been established and is available to members of the Association, and many members have semen and embryos available.