Grass-finished Lamb FAQ's
1. How do I order lamb from RRR?
The easiest way to order lamb from us is through the online ordering form on our website (www.rovingramranch.com/reserve-grassfed-lamb). However, you can also contact us directly via phone or email if you prefer to place your deposit using a different payment method.
2. How big are your lambs?
Live weight of lambs at harvest can vary greatly, depending on a number of factors. Breed; genetics; milk quality and production of the ewe; forage type and quality; and weather can all play a role in determining weight gain in an individual lamb. While our selective breeding program helps minimize variation in some of these variables, others (such as weather and its impact on forage quality in a given year) are out of our control. Because the majority of our butcher lambs are Icelandic, you can expect a smaller-framed lamb that weighs slightly less than a traditional meat lamb. In general, our Icelandic lambs will range between 70 and 90 lbs. live weight; Lincoln lambs will be 80-100 lbs. and our Suffolk-Rambouillet lambs (of which we have only a few) will be 90-120 lbs.
3. What does the hanging weight of a lamb refer to?
The hanging weight (also called carcass weight) is the weight of the slaughtered lamb after the blood has been drained and the head, hide, hooves, and entrails have been removed. Hanging weight is what the cost of a whole or half animal is based on. This is the standard method for calculating the price per pound when selling meat direct to consumer, whether that's lamb, beef, or pork. We have found that with our lambs you can expect that the hanging weight will be roughly 50% of the live weight. The final boxed weight of the meat that you take home will be slightly less than the hanging weight. Boxed weight is impacted by the type of cuts you choose (bone-in vs. boneless, for example), trimming during the butchering process, and some weight loss during aging. The Good Meat Breakdown is a wonderful resource that explains the process of buying meat direct from a farmer or rancher in more detail, including more on hanging weights and an estimation of freezer space needed for your lamb. Visit their site here!
4. What do your lambs eat?
Our lambs are 100% grassfed and grass-finished. They start life with nourishing milk from their moms, continuing until they are weaned at around 16 weeks of age. They start nibbling on hay within days after birth and graze alongside their mothers once they're back on pasture in the spring. Our pastures contain diverse mixtures of grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees, allowing the sheep to choose from a botanical smorgasbord in a way that best meets their nutritional needs at any given moment in time.
5. Do you use antibiotics or growth-promoting hormones in your flock?
We NEVER administer growth-promoting steroid hormones (as implants or in any other form).
We NEVER use sub-therapeutic antibiotics to accelerate weight gain or improve feed efficiency.
We reserve the use of any type of medication, including antibiotics and chemical de-wormers, for situations in which the life of an animal or the collective health of the flock depends on it.
We do not routinely de-worm our sheep, relying instead on rapid pasture rotation and extremely long pasture rest times to break the reproductive cycle of intestinal parasites. We also make selecting for parasite resistance a cornerstone of our breeding program. In the event that we have an individual animal who needs medical treatment, we first employ a holistic approach to resolving the issue, often utilizing herbs and/or homeopathics. The majority of the time this is all that is needed. In the case of a very sick animal or one that is not responding to this initial approach to care, we will then use conventional medications to treat the issue. We never want to see our animals suffer unnecessarily and firmly believe that their comfort and well-being is our responsibility; if we need to use medication to responsibly care for an animal then we don't hesitate to do so. If an antibiotic, de-wormer, or other medication is administered, it is our legal and ethical obligation to ensure the animal does not enter the food supply chain until after the label-directed withdrawal period has been met or exceeded.
Do you have another question that we haven't answered here?
Please reach out and ask us!