Evaluation of the Factors that affect the Sexual Performance of Rams within a Syndicate Joining Scenario.

Reeve, Chelsea
University of New England


This is an active project. The following is a summary submitted with the application. It will be updated when the student’s abstract/thesis is received.

A selection of 150 ewes will be joined to a syndicate of three rams. Eight weeks prior to joining, rams will be inspected and fed a high protein diet to stimulate spermatogenesis as recommended by industry best practice. Rams will then be evaluated for other physiological attributes required for successful ram joining such as feet structure, teeth, penis and testicle condition. A separate selection of ewes will be synchronised to measure ram libido and social dominance within the ram team. A preliminary semen quality test will be taken prior to joining. The ram team will be fitted with GPS collars, accelerometers and Go-pro devices upon the beginning of the joining period to determine activity of the ram syndicate during the 6 week joining period. Semen testing will occur at the end of week second, fourth and sixth week of the joining period to determine if there are significant deteriorations in semen quality throughout the study. Six weeks post joining, the ewes will be pregnancy scanned to determine time of conception (2 week intervals). At lamb marking the offspring will be parentage tested to determine the potency of each ram in the syndicate joining team. Each ram will be compared to determine the important factors that impact conception.