Rather than buying an adult ram and using him straight away, consider buying a ram lamb and keeping him for use the following season. This gives him a whole year to become acclimatised to your location, and he will be fit to work without having had to suffer the stress of overfeeding and being put through the ring in the run up to tupping time. In fact, buy two and then sell one as a shearling next autumn, which will hopefully cover the cost of rearing them both.
Guidelines for the quarantine of bought-in sheep
All bought-in sheep should be quarantined for four weeks before joining the rest of the flock. During this time you should:
Vaccinate them against clostridial diseases. An initial course of two injections is required, 4- 6 weeks apart, so give the first jab as soon as the animals arrive on the holding and the second one at the end of the quarantine period.
Check feet, trim if necessary and apply an appropriate antibiotic spray to every hoof (regardless of whether it needed trimming or not), or stand the sheep in a footbath (either 2.5% formalin or 10% zinc sulphate) for a while.
Dose against internal parasites. For quarantine purposes, you should dose sequentially with two products, one being a macrocyclic lactone (clear drench) and the other a levamisole (yellow drench). Alternatively, use one of the new classes of wormer on the market, such as Zolvix or Startect. Also dose against liver fluke.
Treat against external parasites. Dipping is best, but not many people are doing that these days. My recommendation would be to use both an injectable product against scab (in which case you can omit the clear drench from your quarantine dosing strategy) and a pour- on against ticks and lice.
A clostridial vaccination, such as Heptavac-P, should be administered during quarantine
Sheep may be footbathed during the quarantine period