Friday, 16 November 2012

Welcome back Number Ten and Number Eighteen

Today I picked up my two friendly Zwarbles lambs       ...from the butcher.

The butcher was quite surprised at how "long" they were, but then I guess he doesn't get many Zwartbles in and they are certainly a tall and elegant breed of sheep. I was quite pleased with their weights though, as a friend had recently taken hers (from the same batch) and they were just over 20kg.
So what do you get from one lamb?

Four legs! (no surprises there)
Four shoulders.
I had the bone left in all of these celebration joints, for flavour and drama.
About a dozen pairs of chops (I was too busy to count exactly)
Five packs of mince.
A couple of loin chumps.
Lungs, liver, kidneys.

I for one am very much looking forward to tucking into them. We would never dream of buying chops normally, or even  leg these days.
In fact, if I can manage their grazing more effectively I may even keep a couple more next year, maybe to raise on to make mutton.
It could well make more economic sense to be raising these for meat than raising pigs, certainly in terms of selling the meat.

The key difference is that pigs need constant feeding with brought in feed which is ever-increasing in price. It's also possibly the least environmentally sustainable part of everything we are doing here.
In contrast, the main cost of the lambs was the initial purchase, a little bit on medication and the butchery costs. In all they have worked out about £92 per lamb. So that's in the region of £5 per kilo of meat.

That is, of course, if you don't factor in the £85 it cost me today to replace the tyre which got pot-holed while driving back with the meat last night! Wouldn't have been so bad if I could have removed the wheel nuts!

For ourselves, I reckon a couple of weaners and a couple of sheep a year, along with a few chickens, guinea fowl and a couple of geese, would keep us quite splendidly supplied with meat...

Maybe a cow too...

Or a goat...!!
Friday 16th November 2012
A sunrise to forget.

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