Our Organic Lamb
Of all farm animals, sheep are the most obvious free rangers. They’re able to withstand pretty much anything the weather throws at them and you’ll only really see them indoors at lambing time. But not all breeds of sheep thrive in all environments, so when we started our flock, we had to decide which breeds would best serve our purposes. After a bit of trial and error we’ve settled upon Dorset and Lleyn ewes bred with Blue Texel and Dorset x Lleyn rams. This gives us a flock that thrives on our West Country pasture, gives us a good yield of lambs and produces top-quality meat.
By cross breeding, we can produce a lamb carcass that has an even coverage of muscle without over-exaggeration in either the fore- or hindquarters. We’re looking for ewes that will give birth without complication and rear strong, sturdy lambs. We leave the ewes and lambs together for three months, during which time the lamb will drink milk from the ewe as well as grazing grass. After weaning, our lambs are purely grass fed. They’re ruminant animals, which means their systems are well adapted to extracting maximum goodness out of mixed pasture. They browse herbs and small plants, and trees and hedgerows if they get the chance. This results in sweet, well-flavoured meat with a good marbling of fat.
It’s been a long time since lamb was a seasonal meat: we see demand for it all year round, so we run a system that gives us a reliable supply from January to December. Dorset ewes are one of the few breeds that can lamb at any time of the year, so we put them to the tup in early summer and they produce their lambs in November. A hardy, native breed with very thick wool, Dorset lambs are well able to withstand winter weather. We then have a second, larger crop of lambs from our Lleyn ewes in April. They’re the ones you’ll see kicking up their heels and basking in the spring sun.
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