Castrated vs non

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by adnilee, May 2, 2006.

  1. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    Just wondering if there really is a difference in the taste of meat from a castrated ram lamb vs. a non-castrated lamb? Does it really make a difference? We sell at 80 to 100 lbs.

  2. Philip

    Philip Philip

    Sep 26, 2005
    New Zealand
    Hi Adnilee. We sometimes leave ram lambs intact for sale, and slaughter any that don't go. Theres no difference we can detect in flavour for the first year or so, but as they become older hoggets (1.5-2 years or so) they can get a little stronger, and by the time they're past the hogget stage they're stroger again, although its not particularly unpleasant. Mind you, we usually prefer hogget to lamb anyway. We also do not finish any animals on grain here, so they all go straight from grass to slaughter, and apparently the flavour is therefore stonger than grain-finished anyway, I've been told.

  3. Sprout

    Sprout Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    The Sunny Okie transplant ground of Californie
    I don't castrate mine until they are going off the property. Which is ususally two weeks after weaning. That's when they're about 4- 4 and 1/2 months old. They grow faster when they are intact but after a while the growth factor slows down so much that it really dosen't affect them. If you wait much longer you'll have a ram that's growing slightly faster then everyone else but a rather large pain on your hands. You can't raise market rams and ewes in the same pens because right around market time those ewes will start cycling (if not earlier) and you'll have rather bloodied rams and tired and potentialy pregnant ewes, then no one will gain well. I prefer to castrate they put on more fat then muscle but I really don't want lean lamb anyway, not for feeding 4 pounds of grain.