This weekend we butchered our lamb. Overall raising a lamb was a great experience. I really liked having the little guy around while he was at our home. We will definitely buy a lamb to raise in the future. Growing up we hunted and shot deer and elk but this was my first time killing and butchering a large animal that I raised. We had a friend who was a butcher by trade come out to help us, we kind of pulled him out of retirement. He was a blessing, he claimed that he was rusty but our cuts look perfect to me. We haven’t weighed out the meat yet but we were able to get a decent amount of meat, more than enough for Husband and I. I am excited to have some organic grass-fed liver, I will be encapsulating it to take as a supplement.
Raising animals as with anything else is learning process and a few things I would do differently in the future. I think next year we will spend a bit more on our initial purchase of the lamb and get a better bred animal. We went on the conservative side cost wise, being this was our first time and for what we spent I am more than happy with the result. I would however keep to the hair breeds, I really like how O’Haira looked and felt, he was easy to keep clean and very low maintenance. There is a person up the road who raises heritage lambs and I might try to buy a lamb from him next time. Next year we will have our arena up and we are fencing it with no climb. This will enable us to turn out the goats and sheep with no worries about them getting into the plants we have worked so hard to cultivate. I feel confidant that we could butcher a lamb ourselves next time, although we would always welcome our friend to come help us out! I also have created a list of items we will need for next time.
I know a lot of people are pretty sad that we butchered O’Haira and I have gotten a few comments about it. I have a different view on the topic. I believe that animals are God’s and he put them on earth for us to use for nourishment. O’Haira had a life with a purpose, his purpose was to provide nourishment for us.
Psalm 50:10-11 For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.
Genesis 9:1-4 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.
It is our great responsibly to ensure the animals in you are care are safe, well, fed and that they are treated humanely. When you think of the animal as a gift of nourishment from God the responsibility has a new weight to it.
Proverbs 27: 23-27 “Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations? When the grass is gone and the new growth appears and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered, the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field. There will be enough goats’ milk for your food, for the food of your household and maintenance for your girls.”
That Brings me to a question I was asked “how can you kill and eat something you interact with every day?”. We interact with him daily and there is a reason; when we ended O’Haira’s life he was not afraid at all because he was used to being handled. That bond we built ensured we valued the life we were taking. This meant we wanted a quick death with the least amount of pain possible for him. When that time came he was in our yard were he grew up and felt comfortable. He was not shoved into a trailer with other lambs bumping into or stepping all over him, he didn’t enter a building he didn’t know. He was calm and comfortable at home.
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