Making Mutton

I’ve had mutton on my mind lately.

I recently wrote an article for Vermont’s Local Banquet Magazine about the economics of eating mutton.  I wrote about slaughtering Janet last year and getting 96 pounds of meat from her, which I only just finished eating a few weeks ago!  Click here to read the article!

Because of the circumstances that I detailed in my last post, I am cutting down on the number of sheep I’m keeping this winter to 6-7 ewes.  I’m seriously considering every sheep’s place in the herd and how they fit into my ultimate goals.

I’ve decided to move along some of my older, original ewes.  Dot is getting quite old (9) and has twice failed to raise all her offspring.  If someone would like to buy her and breed her nevertheless, I’m willing to discuss that, but I’m supposing that she’ll wind up in my freezer.  I’ll be devastated to lose her beautiful wool, but I can’t justify her keep on wool alone.

Shirley hasn’t regained condition since earlier this year.  She’s not desperately lean, but it’s plain that she’ll struggle to feed her lambs again next spring.  Again, devastated to have to make this decision so soon, but Shirley’s wool is probably compromised by her nutritional state as she showed a wool-break in May.

Finally, Bonnie has lost most of her teeth.  With the grazing season winding down, it seemed to make sense to let little Bonnie lead the way to departure.   Late last night, Matt and I loaded Bonnie, her ram lamb, Ida’s ram and Shirley’s ram into the back of my pickup.  Early this morning, I drove them down to Braintree, where I bade them farewell as Royal Larocque of the Royal Butcher escorted them down the alleyway to a waiting area.

I’m sad to see more original sheep go, as I’m planning to have only Peggy next year.  Despite my emotional state, I’m committed to farming sustainably, and sustainability to me means “no pets.”

If you are interested in lamb, hogget (2-year-old sheep) or mutton, please contact me!  I have more of every category available!


One thought on “Making Mutton

  1. Its such a difficult decision to make isn’t it Katie? I do find it easier when I’m sending more than one at a time. One thing we’ve done with the older sheep is make a summer sausage type of product. It cost a bit more to process, but its very tasty.

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