Being new to raising sheep and goats, last fall I rented a Suffolk ram from the local sale barn to breed to my ewes. He was a handsome little fellow, and I wasted no time in introducing him to my girls.
That was a BIG mistake. I should have quarantined him in a separate pen first. Yes, it takes a bit of time to build that extra pen, set up another feeder and watering tank, and build a shed to keep him/her out of the elements, but that extra time is worth it in the end. If you quarantine your new animal(s), you’ll be able to monitor how they act and see if there are any diseases they might be able to pass on to the rest of your herd.
My newly acquired ram brought ear mites, pink eye, and lice to my little herd. It was a lesson that cost me a lot of time and over one hundred dollars worth of medicines to purge my herd of the pests and virus. I know now that if I ever buy or rent another animal, he/she gets their own pen for a week or two before they are put in with the rest of the livestock.
So please, please remember to quarantine all your new animals! You’ll be thankful that you did!