Yesterday we marshaled our forces and headed to our old house to make finals plans for our sheep. We weren’t sure until the very last moment that Mark wouldn’t butcher the ram, Deuce, as well as the the lamb and bring the ewes back here with us. At the final moment, a friend of a friend decided to take the ewes and Deuce. I was really relieved. The thought of killing and cutting up our old ram, who produced so many fine babies was a bit difficult. He was never in the portion of my brain reserved for The Animals We Shall Eat.

Mark and a couple of our friends (here’s Ben’s blog.) butchered the lamb. It was hard on Mark to kill the little guy and hard work getting it all done, but we now have a freezer full of protein provided by the grass raised steer half we bought from a neighbor, the deer Mark shot, and the lamb. Now I just need to find some great lamb recipes, especially for ground lamb. We have a lot of that. I’m already well-versed in what to do with the venison.
Raising our own meat animals is hard in many ways. The meat costs a lot per pound by the time we factor in all of our time, feed, etc. Animals are labor intensive, not that they require hours per day but they require *something* every day. We have to feed our animals because we don’t have the grass to support them without feed. Ideally we would not have to provide extra feed but because we want(ed) to know what growing our own animals for meat would be like, what they would taste like, and how we would feel about eating them, we thought it was a good decision to do so.
Beyond the daily grind of animal husbandry, which is mostly my bit though Mark does quite a lot, there is the chore of taking the animal to an abattoirs or of butchering at home. We’ve done it both ways. If delivery is required, that’s my job. If home-processing is in order, that’s Mark’s. Then I have to cook it. I don’t actually like meat. I find the texture appalling and the flavor something I can live without but because my husband is a meatitarian, I cook it.
This is how we, sort of, equally divide the labor of love of raising our own animals for food. And yesterday was a good day not only because Mark and the guys put meat in the freezer but because Deuce went to a new home, with experienced sheep owners and can continue to throw those fat, fuzzy babies.

About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
This entry was posted in environment, health and well-being, sheep. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Yesterday

  1. Amy says:

    Shepherd's pie is always a good use for ground lamb.

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