Sunday, November 2, 2014

Empty pastures

Our four lambs went off for slaughter this morning. (How is that for an opening sentence?)
Just a quick post to show the progression from Spring lamb to harvest - heavy on pictures.

The lambs were 25-30 pounds when they came to us. They came from a farm in southern VT and are a dorset/friesian cross, which was described to us as a good breed for wool, meat, or dairy.

^^ Midsummer, their fleece was beautiful and white. They had grown bigger than we could have imagined from the little girls above.

Some more recent shots (and a blurry one from my camera phone) show how big they grew in the last few weeks. Their fleece got really thick, so we asked to have the hides returned to us (we decided to roll them up and freeze them until we figure out how to tan them or if we will pay someone to tan them for us).

I plan to write more about our first summer raising lambs. I'm curious from the other homesteaders who follow along - what would you like to hear about? It seems like lamb is a little out in left field for other homesteaders who raise poultry, cattle, and pigs.

For now, it's a good reminder to us where our food comes from. There is a life behind the meat on your plate and this is our attempt to respect that and be closer to the process.


  1. Ah great- some info I was so hoping for. I desperately want to get lambs and have my littles help raise them. I think they would be perfect for them. Please let me know what you think of the meat and any recipes! We are going to attempt to tan this year too, it sounds doable enough, but one can never tell:)

  2. A friend of ours recently tanned a goat hide, it turned out ok until the dog got a wiff of it and chewed it up. Bit of a bummer really. Those lambs look so big at the end, I love sheep and wish we had a large enough paddock for a couple to rear our own. Lamb roast is my ultimate favourite. I will just have to stick with pigs for starters. Maybe next year.

    1. Hey Liz! That is actually one of my big worries haha We stayed at a house where they had a lamb skin rug and our dog HATED it. She wouldn't go anywhere near it and actually tried to jump on a coffee table to get to the couch just so she wouldn't have to walk across it.

  3. It must have been a big experience having the lambs come full circle on the homestead. I would love to know what you felt was the most challenging part of raising lambs?