The real answer is, “it depends.” It actually depends on a lot of factors: are we talking about raising sheep for subsistence or commercial farming? Are you mainly using them to breed more sheep or are you planning to sell ram mutton? Are you concerned about inbreeding or are you intentionally trying to minimize genetic variation?
Rams, also known as the luckiest male animals on earth, can actually breed with up to 100 ewes in a single mating season (approximately 3 to 4 per day roughly), but it’s generally recommended to maintain a ratio of 1:30 rams per ewe. For those of you planning to start a commercial farm of more than 500 sheep, this means that you’ll likely need closer to 20 rams. However, for those of you looking to maintain a small farm of maybe ~10 sheep, one ram is probably “enough.”
If you’d like to learn more about sheep breeding, here are a few of my favorite sheep breeding resources:
- Sheep101 – Click to learn more about what’s considered a “satisfactory scrotal circumference” for rams.
- Things to consider before you get sheep – This is probably my favorite one as the guy talks about buying sheep like we’d think about starting a new diet or getting a tattoo.
Hope this answered your question!
And by the way, no, I don’t think it’s that gross.