Baa Baa tasty sheep

Remember Agnes?

We’ve finally come full-circle and are taking her back to the mainland from whence she came.

This time in little pieces!

Agnes the lamb. Magically delicious!

After a summer of mowing my in-laws’ lawn with her flock-mates, she headed off to the slaughter house and came back as about 55 pounds of meat. We cooked up a roast last night, she’s DELICIOUS!

Because I felt like death through pretty much the entirety of Agnes’ growing season, the initial drop-off was the only time I met her. I never did see Gloria and Miserere while they were alive.

Agnes was probably about 1.5 months old when we got her. Most likely recently weaned, since she had no idea what to do about the first bucket of grain she got when the hot sun meant the sheep ran out of an adequate supply of grass. By all accounts, the sheep were almost entirely pleasant, excellent groundskeepers, and remarkably easy to get into the truck for their final trip. They put the “laughter” in “slaughter!”

Our start-up costs were not insignificant (about $1000 for the pen, yard, electric fence and sundry other small supplies & feed). But the lambs themselves were about $150 each. Plus a processing fee. They ate primarily grass, so growing costs were almost nil. Aside from any repairs needed to the plywood roof over the winter, and some extra electric fencing this summer’s experience showed would be nice to have, next year’s costs will only be the sheep.

Looking at the current grocery rates, BC Lamb is going for anywhere from $27/lb for a rack of lamb down to $4.50/lb for a shoulder roast.

Our lamb ended up costing $2.75/lb plus the cutting fee (about $0.50/lb if I recall correctly). We’ve got roasts, racks, shanks, stew, bones for stock and even some offal for the dog. And if the roast we had last night is any indication, we’re in for a winter of amazingly tasty meals.

We also have the added benefit of knowing most of our lamb’s history, what she was fed, and that she lived a perfectly lamby life, eating grass and cavorting in a pasture with other sheep.

My only regret is that we don’t have a better idea of her origin (we don’t actually even know what her breed really is) and her earliest days. Our auction experience was pretty disturbing (another post, coming soon), and I’d hesitate to purchase animals from that particular auction house again. Sadly, most literature I’ve read on the livestock industry and its seedy underbelly claims that our experience was closer to the rule than the exception.

But! On the bright side, we do have a freezer full of lamb that lived happily and lambily for the majority of her life.

Now, who wants to come for dinner?

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5 thoughts on “Baa Baa tasty sheep

  1. A Little Coffee

    Aaaaah you’re so nonchalant about this! This post bothered me so much it really brought to the forefront how much I like to play ignorant about where my food came from when I am eating meat. Which is a bit of an eye-opener for me because I thought I was okay with it, but maybe I’m not really. It’s tasty, but I could never eat an animal that I had met while it was alive, much less one that I had named… do you have a hard time with that at all?

    On the other hand though, I think it’s wonderful to know exactly where your food is coming from, that the animals were treated well while they were alive, and that they’re not packed full of hormones, so that is definitely an upside.

    peechie Reply:

    It’s different when you know the animal is destined to be food. There’s no way I could kill & eat *my* dog, even though I’ve eaten dog before. And I’m sure I’d feel awful about eating someone’s pot-bellied pet, even though I love bacon.

    Knowing what I do about industrial food production, I actually feel a LOT better about eating a sheep I knew, whose health I could see in her shiny eyes and thick fleece, and who I know lived out her short but sheepy destiny rather than one who lived in anonymous terror and misery in a factory farm somewhere.

  2. mark

    mmmmm…. lamb. planning on moving beyond just lambs next year?

    next question – what did you ever do with the fleece?

    peechie Reply:

    You know, I forgot to find out. We had initially meant to keep it, but it seems a few things fell through the cracks at processing time.

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