The purpose of raising sheep is for its product, i.e., meat, fiber, and milk, and they must be managed within the constraints of their seasonal breeding attributes. Photope-riod regulates the reproductive cycle of the ewe and the effects are most dramatic in the more temperate-type geographic zones. Although new technologies have been developed in an attempt to overcome the seasonal limitations, none have made a significant impact in reproductive management strategies in the commercial lamb and wool sectors. The selection and management of the ram is a very important component in reproductive management because its genetic contributions may affect half of the offspring in a given lambing season. Ram fertility and libido affect conception rates and the subsequent lamb crop. For the ewe, it is primarily the diet that affects ovulation and lambing rates and the survival of the newborn lamb.
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