Feed Lot Fattening of Rams

A major attraction of intensive sheep production is the opportunity it offers for large scale production of rams especially for sale during festivals when they can be sold at very high prices. 
Before ‘rushing into the business however, there is need for careful planning if the venture is not to fail. 
Important points to consider include source of rams, healthcare, housing, feeding and the market. All these must be properly taken care of. 
Rams for fattening can come from the farm flock or may be purchased on the open market at a time when prices are relatively low. 
For best results rams should be fattened for 3 to 4 months before sale. The buying periods can be timed accordingly. When buying rams from the open market the relevant precautions listed in section 2 should be observed. 
In particular a festival ram should have well grown horns and be free from any deformities which may affect its subsequent market value. The rams should be between 1 and 4 years old. There is generally a good market for large grown animal. Avoid very young and very old animals. 
After purchases, the rams should be quarantined during which time they should be de-wormed, given tick bath and treated against coccidiosis. 
Feed supplies and feeding practice considerably influence the weight gains of animals and consequently the profit margin. Therefore it is essential to feed animals adequately both in terms of quality. 
Feedlot rams should be fed good quality grass or legume hay at daily rates of 1 
to 2.5 kg, depending on size of ram and type of hay, plus 0.2 to 0.5 kg of a concentrate mixture. Three examples of suitable fattening concentrate rations for sheep are as follows: , 
Where labour costs are low rations may be given in equal installments two or three times daily otherwise the rations can be fed ad libitum. 
Where rams for fattening are to come from the farm flock weaned lambs should be kept in groups and fed high quality chopped hay (preferably legume) ad labium until they weigh above 20 kg each thereafter they should be transferred to the feedlot pen and fed as described above. 
Feedlot rams should be washed with soap and groomed to make them more attractive to buyers, about four days before sale. 

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