What do Rams Eat?

Rams are herbivores. They will primarily eat seeds, grass, and plants. Some rams, such as Bighorn rams, will eat sedges, brushes, woody plants, and other plants they find around them. They’re not very picky eaters and will easily survive in habitats with a shortage of food.

Sheep, including rams, can survive up to two weeks without food. But this will rarely happen since rams are not picky eaters and will eat almost any food they can find. They’re herbivores, so they’ll rely on foraging plants, grasses, bushes, and leaves from the plants around them.

What do Rams Eat

What Foods do Rams Eat?

In the wild, rams prefer to eat grasses, leaves, bushes, and sedges, while in captivity, rams might also be fed seeds, legumes, forbs, and a variety of other grains.

Here are some main foods that rams will eat.

1. Grass

Grass is the staple of a ram’s diet. Whether the ram is let out on a pasture to feed itself or whether it’s fed grass in its barn, that is up to the farmer and their preferences as well as their abilities.

Rams prefer to eat grasses out in nature, though. This is great for some farmers that want to keep their grasses trimmed and looking nice without having to constantly mow the grass. Rams and sheep are great for keeping the landscape looking tidy.

Go Deeper: Do Sheep eat Grass?

2. Seeds

In captivity, some farmers might feed their rams seeds. This includes seeds and grains of various types, which are a good natural source of food for rams to keep them healthy. The seeds that sheep and rams eat include clover, legumes, forbs, and other seeds.

For some farmers, seeds might be a good way to shake up the ram’s diet and introduce new nutrients for the ram, such as some vital minerals and vitamins to keep the ram as healthy as possible.

Read Also: Ram vs Bull

3. Plants and Leaves

Rams are predominantly herbivorous, which means they’ll rely on a wide variety of herbivorous foods. While the staple of the ram’s diet is grass, it is also often on the lookout for foods like plants and leaves which will keep the ram satiated and fed.

Rams are grazing animals, which means they’ll graze grass and other foods around them if they find the opportunity to do so. So if they want to shake up their diet from time to time, they will turn to leaves and bushes for food.

Sheep will focus on woody plants and bushes around them – whatever they can find in their habitat. 

4. Supplementing Foods

Often, rams will be fed fibrous foods and foods with more nutritional value, such as grains, hay, soybean meals, pellets, or other foods that are specifically made for sheep. Pellets are introduced to sheep that prefer this type of food or if they have run out of grass to graze.

In some cases, grains are introduced to pregnant ewes and bigger rams that need more food and more nutrients to get by. These sheep can be more demanding in terms of their diet, so the farmer will need to supplement with these foods.

See Also: What do Sheep Eat?

Do Rams Eat Meat?

No, rams will never eat meat because they are herbivorous animals.

One of the main reasons why rams can’t eat meat is because they don’t have teeth in the front parts of their mouths. This will make it impossible for them to consume dense and thick foods such as meat, as they won’t be able to chew it properly.

The second reason why rams don’t eat meat is that their digestive systems are not prepared for this type of food. In some countries and states, such as in the UK, feeding mammal meat to ruminants such as sheep and cattle is even prohibited by law, because sheep can’t tolerate meat.

Lastly, farmers don’t choose to feed meat to sheep because the meat is an expensive type of food and it would be too costly for farmers to feed sheep meat.

So sheep will be fed natural foods such as grains, grass, or seeds because those types of foods are sometimes easily available in the pasture or the habitat of the sheep, and most of the time, they don’t cost nearly as much as meat to produce.

Do Rams Eat the Same Foods as Ewes?

For the most part, rams and ewes will eat the same types of food, although rams might need more food than ewes to stay satiated.

Rams and ewes have the same structure when it comes to teeth, jaws, and the gastric system. Because of that, they are both intolerant of meats and other carnivorous foods and will prefer to eat herbivorous foods.

Just like ewes, rams will also prefer grasses, seeds, leaves, grains, and pellets as their main sources of food. They will stay out in the pasture and feed on grasses and leaves because those types of food are easy to obtain and it doesn’t take as much for the rams and ewes to stay maintained with these foods.

The only major difference between rams and ewes is that rams require a lot more food than ewes. The reason for that is that rams are much bigger and require a lot more nutrients to be sustained. The only exception is when it comes to pregnant ewes, which will require more nutrients than regular ewes.

In essence, rams and ewes are the same when it comes to food requirements and there aren’t many differences between the two when it comes to food preferences.

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To conclude, rams like to eat grasses, seeds, leaves, grains, and pellets. They’re herbivorous, just like ewes, and they won’t eat meat. Their teeth and gastrointestinal systems just aren’t prepared for meat and they’re not tolerant of meat.

Some farmers will introduce special foods to rams such as pellets or other nutrition-dense foods to keep their rams fed and to keep them bulky. Because of that, rams will need more food and more nutrients than ewes in general.

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