food, history, rural life, and how we connect our cultural past and future
Lamb Chops: from barn to freezer
On Jan 3rd we bought a 125 lb. ram lamb to fatten for the freezer. He had horns and had not been castrated.
Of course I named him Lamb Chop lest anyone forget he was intended for food. [Do you find it as odd as I do that all those years ago TV show host/comedienne/ventriloquist Shari Lewis named her sock puppet character Lamb Chop? In a 3-degrees of separation way my life intersected with Lewis and Lamb Chop; I was living in the basement apartment of her house in Laurel Canyon the fall President Kennedy was assassinated. Small world, yes?]
We fed our lamb chops-on-the-hoof with sweet hay and a daily treat of about a cup of 2-grain scratch (what we give the hens) and while he basically maintained an aloof attitude he would come quickly when the grain was shaken into the feeder!
The actual killing took place very quickly and quietly. The animal was not excited and neither were we. A single shot and it was dead. The scaffolding had been set up beforehand to hoist the carcass and to insure a proper bleed-out. All the knives had been sharpened. Garbage bags for the head and the offal were ready.
Our son, his two daughters and a friend came to help. Because this was a first time learning process for the girls and our friend Jenny each step of the process offered a new way of looking at where our meat comes from.
The photos show us from the beginning to the end. I’ve included captions so you can tell what is happening.