Thoughts on butchering rams early??

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Concrete Cowboy, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. Concrete Cowboy

    Concrete Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    We have 4 month old rams and, for various reasons, we are thinking of butchering them now instead of in August as planned. Is this way too soon? Do you think it's a waste? We're not sure how much they weigh- probably between 50-60 lbs.
     
  2. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yea, I think it's a waste. If you can possibly wait it out, you will have much more meat. They are going to get their growth in bone before they get it in meat. We butchered a full grown ram that was about 60 pounds. Tastey, but not much there.
     

  3. animalfarmer

    animalfarmer Well-Known Member

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    Hi Concrete Cowboy,If they are four months old and fat in good flesh,then they should dress at fifty percent of their live weight.If half their live weight slaughtered and dressed is good for you and your needs then by all means you should go ahead and hang them up.If you are slaughtering them yourself you could also butcher the largest one,see how it looks, and go foward from that point.Best of luck.Regards,John.
     
  4. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My experience has been with goats rather than sheep, but it should be essentially the same. I butcher most of my meat bucklings at four-five months. Pull them straight off their dams and into the freezer. They are fat and sassy, not really having started to stretch out with all the bone yet. Once they hit the 6-8 month range they get pretty rangy for a few months as they put on their height......so, my advice would be if its convenient.....butcher them now. The meat is great and there should be plenty of it. And you don't have a lot of money invested in them like you do if you wait several more months.
     
  5. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

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    LAMB EXAMPLES:

    Average market lamb, shorn, weighed full, 120 lbs., bone-in chops and roasts, closely trimmed, regular ground lamb:

    (.51 X .75) X 120 = 38% X 120 = 46 lbs. of meat

    Average market lamb, shorn, weighed empty, 120 lbs., bone-in chops and roasts, closely trimmed, regular ground lamb:

    (.54 X .75) X 120 = 41% X 120 = 49 lbs. of meat

    Average market lamb, shorn, weighed full, 120 lbs., some bone-in and some boneless chops and roasts, closely trimmed, regular ground lamb:

    (.51 X .68) X 120 = 35% X 120 = 42 lbs. of meat

    Lean, heavily muscled market lamb, shorn, weighed empty, 120 lbs., bone-in chops and roasts, closely trimmed, regular ground lamb:

    (.57 X .78) X 120 = 44% X 120 = 53 lbs. of meat

    Fat, light muscled market lamb, long fleece, weighed full, 120 lbs., bone-in chops and roasts, closely trimmed, regular ground lamb:

    (.48 X .65) X 120 = 31% X 120 = 37 lbs. of meat
     
  6. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    One of our butchers is charging an $85 minimum...that would be a mighty expensive lamb!
     
  7. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No problem......butcher the ram lambs yourself. Its actually quite simple.....nowhere near as messy as chickens. I used to butcher our sheep and now butcher all our young goats. Its not economically feasable any other way. As you said, once the butcher finishes with your bill.....its mighty expensive lamb!!