Difference Between Ewes and Rams -

Ewes vs Rams

Ewe and ram are the most important for any sheep population for its longevity. The differences between these males and females are necessary to discuss, as those are considerable but mostly unnoticed. This article provides information about male and female sheep or in other words, ewe and ram, and it would be interesting to follow the comparison between them, as well.


Ewe is the adult female sheep. Usually, ewes are raised for dairy and meat production. As dairy production is one of the main uses, the reproduction becomes paramount, as calving is necessary for to produce milk. Usually, ewes do not develop horns but sometimes there are small horns. As females, the most wanted reproductive system includes ovaries, uterus, vagina, vulva, and other parts. External identification feature is the vulva in ewes. Although there is no significant difference in their faces from others, experienced shepherds could distinguish a female from the feminine expressions of the face of ewe. As the secretion of testosterone is very low in ewes, the aggression is limited or almost none. Female lambs become sexually matured after four to six months from birth. In fact, only the sexually matured females are referred as ewes, and the length of their oestrus cycle is seventeen days. Upon breeding with a ram, they undergo the pregnancy period that lasts for five months. After that, the nourishment of the young or the lambs takes place via secreting milk. That means they become indispensable in the dairy production.


Ram is the intact male sheep or the male with functioning testicles, which means they are capable of breeding with females, to produce fertile progenies. Therefore, rams are essential to maintain the sheep population. As males, rams are sexually different from others having the most important male reproductive system. Since, there are castrated males (wethers) in any domestic sheep flock, the consideration of rams is essential. However, their breeding capacity could be vary among them, but usually one ram could successfully breed with 30 – 35 ewes in a breeding season of sixty days. Male reproductive hormones known as androgens are high in rams. The aggression is higher in rams compared to wethers (neutered males), and lamb (young sheep) because of the testosterone secretion. Sometimes, rams fight with each other for females, despite one can breed with many females. The horned sheep breeds have longer and better-developed horns in rams in comparison to others of the same breed. Their sexual maturity takes place around six to eight months from birth. Rams can grow as large as 450 kilograms sometimes. However, occasionally, rams are referred as tups.

What is the difference between Ewe and Ram?

• Rams are larger than ewes in their size and weight.

• Rams are useful for people in many ways including as a source of meat, wool, and for working purposes, as well. However, ewes are mainly raised for meat and milk production.

• Ewes have vulva as their externally appeared of the reproductive system while rams have their penis and scrotum.

• The sexual maturity takes place in rams around six to eight months from birth while it happens earlier in ewes (four to six months).

• The males usually have horns but females rarely have horns. The horned breeds in both males and females, rams have long and curved horns while those are small and short in ewes.

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