Butchering rams

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by decamper, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. decamper

    decamper Well-Known Member

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    Is there such a thing as "to old to butcher" lamb rams? We had four rams born March/April and are only keeping one for breeding. We haven't been able to sell the others so they will be butchered. Is there a too old age? One will be just hot sticks and sausage but neighbors will be wanting chops, etc.
     
  2. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

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    We butchered an 18 month old 185 lb Dorper ram and he was the best tasting meat! We heard that hair sheep can be butchered at any age without the "mutton" flavor that wool sheep seem to get with age ~ so we wanted to try it ourselves. He was very tender and not as much fat as the lambs we butchered at 120 lbs.
     

  3. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Adult rams that have worked can get quite strong and can be a challenge to the teeth! Ours usually become sausages or dog tucker.
    However, yours a still lambs and will be very nice eating. There is no reason whatsoever not to kill them and put them into chops and roasts. As an aside, I personally wouldn't waste one by putting it into sausages. If both your neighbour and yourselves are taking a bit of both, why not look around for a culled ewe or ram which you can pick up pretty cheap and get that turned into sausages?

    By the way, what are hot sticks?

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  4. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    Toughness is more a byproduct of activity rather than age. Penned animals have more tender, more mild flavored meat than free range or wild animals. The toughness can be overcome by aging the meat. Simply package as usual and leave the meat in a fridge that is not opened a lot, for 7-14 days before eating or freezing
     
  5. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    hot sticks= pepperettes? mini spiced and cured/dehydrated sauasages??
     
  6. Philip

    Philip Philip

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    Ronney's on the money there. A ram lamb is as tasty as any other lamb, Even if they have been working for a couple of years they're fine. By about 3 or 4 I would think about sausages, but an old ewe would be best there. An older ram can be a bit 'musky' if you slaughter around the breeding season, but otherwise is ok
     
  7. decamper

    decamper Well-Known Member

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    Hot sticks are like Slim Jims. Anyone familiar with Slim Jims? Sounds like pepperettes could be another name for it, Ross.
    We really like hot sticks and summer sausage so that will be one lamb. Another lamb will be made into chops, etc. for us and a neighbor. I do not have the space to keep three extra lamb rams over winter. I've tried selling them but no luck so they need to go. I just heard somewhere that after a certain age, 6-12 months, lamb rams will taste musky. They are not in a pasture; I have netting fence so I moved it everyday or so for them to graze. Not alot of room for them to really run.
    Thanks for all the replies. I will book a date in December for them.