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Author Topic: zwartbles to 18 months  (Read 3008 times)

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
zwartbles to 18 months
« on: July 15, 2016, 09:42:23 pm »
A culinary enquiry really.... we take our balwens 'off' at 18 months old - always delicious, and still tender (easily cooked pink if desired).  This year we also have a zwartbles wether amongst our flock.  I haven't thought twice about it really, but it suddenly occurred to me that maybe we've made a mistake.  So, have any you kept a zwartbles this long, and if so, was he still tender or more muttony?

Hevxxx99

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: zwartbles to 18 months
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2016, 10:19:50 pm »
I haven't got a clue, but mutton is delicious!

Real proper mutton isn't strong flavoured at all and cooked right, is more like beef than lamb so worst case, you will just have to adjust cooking methods!

nutterly_uts

  • Joined Jul 2014
  • Jersey - for now :)
Re: zwartbles to 18 months
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2016, 10:52:46 pm »
[member=2128]Womble[/member]  has Zs and might be able to help

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: zwartbles to 18 months
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2016, 11:46:04 pm »
Correct with the first bit, but clueless with the second I'm afraid!

We've only had our Zs for a couple of years and have always sent the lambs away the same autumn they were born. Our only experience of mutton was when we got rid of our errant Manx Loaghtans at 2.5 years old. I had most of the meat minced because I didn't think it would be up to much - what a mistake!! They made pretty mediocre mince, but absolutely amazing chops and joints.


In my simple head, as long as he doesn't get over fat a few extra months shouldn't make much difference for this chap, especially since he's a wether. I'm sure others with more knowledge will be along in a bit though....
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

silkwoodzwartbles

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: zwartbles to 18 months
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2016, 08:12:10 am »
Good question and one I don't know the answer to as my Z lamb last year was done at about 8 months old and this year's one will be too...it's a lovely, lean, tender meat though so I can't imagine it would be a problem...give it a go and report back :thumbsup:

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: zwartbles to 18 months
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2016, 01:57:17 pm »
OK - will definitely report back!

zwartbles

  • Joined Sep 2011
Re: zwartbles to 18 months
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2016, 03:24:30 pm »
We took a 2-year old working ram to the abbatoir last month and have already tried some of him. Very tasty. Not tough and good flavour.

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: zwartbles to 18 months
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2016, 05:44:33 pm »
I have my lleyns killed out as hoggetts and the meat is amazing and tender too! Plus you get bigger chops and joints. The really old ewes can be a bit tough. They recommend killing sheep for mutton at 2 years old, I have a friend who does this with his Lleyn sheep and they taste amazing. They do say that you shouldn't kill a Zwartbles under a year old anyway as the fat layer will not have developed sufficiently for flavour of the meat, as they have a thin layer of fat over the meat anyway (so a breeder who sells the meat recommends). I would say go for it, I bet the flavour is excellent! :yum:
« Last Edit: July 17, 2016, 05:46:57 pm by waterbuffalofarmer »
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: zwartbles to 18 months
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2016, 06:50:16 pm »
They do say that you shouldn't kill a Zwartbles under a year old anyway as the fat layer will not have developed sufficiently for flavour of the meat, as they have a thin layer of fat over the meat :yum:


Do they?  ??? I have to say, we forgot to tell our lambs that last year and they were all given a top grade by the butcher. Yes they were lean, but they tasted mighty fine to me. One of the reasons we switched to Zwartbles was so we could get the lambs away without having to overwinter them. I don't think people want a lot of fat on their meat these days anyway, so lean and sweet is a good selling point for Zs in my book :thumbsup: .
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: zwartbles to 18 months
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2016, 08:34:52 pm »
They do say that you shouldn't kill a Zwartbles under a year old anyway as the fat layer will not have developed sufficiently for flavour of the meat, as they have a thin layer of fat over the meat :yum:


Do they?  ??? I have to say, we forgot to tell our lambs that last year and they were all given a top grade by the butcher. Yes they were lean, but they tasted mighty fine to me. One of the reasons we switched to Zwartbles was so we could get the lambs away without having to overwinter them. I don't think people want a lot of fat on their meat these days anyway, so lean and sweet is a good selling point for Zs in my book :thumbsup: .
Mine all went at 7-9 months last year with complements not complaints for the taste.

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: zwartbles to 18 months
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2016, 10:17:33 pm »
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: zwartbles to 18 months
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2016, 11:59:14 pm »
Thanks for the link WBF, that's really interesting, even though I don't agree with it! (A penny for your thoughts, [member=22743]allyb[/member] ?)

Our Zwartbles lambs last year went away at 7 months old and came back at between 18 and 23 kg butchered. Surely that's plenty big enough?

We are planning to experiment a little with ages this year though, in that we're going to keep all of the ewe lambs over winter and then only decide which ones to keep for ourselves in the spring. That may well mean we end up sending some away as hogget. If that happens, I'll report back on the results.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

 

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