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Author Topic: Keeping lambs of different sex separate prior 2 slaughtering  (Read 1299 times)

linton.ross01

  • Joined Apr 2018
Keeping lambs of different sex separate prior 2 slaughtering
« on: April 25, 2018, 01:34:10 pm »
new to slaughtering lambs
should i keep the male and female lambs separate if i want to slaughter them??
also when, what age and what weight is it best to slaughter lambs?
glad of any help :wave:
thanks

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Keeping lambs of different sex separate prior 2 slaughtering
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 01:52:49 pm »
You only need to keep entire males separate from females (their mums and aunties as well as their sisters ;)) from when the boys become sexually active.  In general we say that’s around 4 months for most breeds - but I ring my boys, so if that’s too long, hopefully someone who keeps males entire will jump in!

As to ‘how old to slaughter’, it’s not about age it’s about condition.  This will vary greatly according to breed and local conditions, but will also vary between lambs of the same breeding brought up together.  It’s also important to know your market - if you’re sending lambs to a primestock market, the ideal lamb weighs around 42-45kgs on your farm (and will weigh 2-4kgs less entering the ring, after the journey and waiting on cement for a few hours) and has a condition score of 2.5 to 3.5.  If slaughtering for yourself, you can keep them to quite a bit bigger and get more meat off them. For a butcher or a box scheme, somewhere in between the two.

What ewes do you have, what tup did you use, who is the meat for?
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Keeping lambs of different sex separate prior 2 slaughtering
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2018, 02:23:51 pm »
I think I may have come across a bit bamboozling!

Any chance you could post some pictures?  We’d be able to advise much better if you could. 

The best way to learn about when your lambs are ready is to get a local sheep keeper to either come to you and tell you how your lambs are, or (probably even better) for you to go to them and have them show you (and let you feel) some lambs that are ready and some that aren’t. 

But in the absence of that, put your hands either side of the tail and see how easy it is to feel the bones. Very easy / it’s all bone = they’re not ready.

If you can get to any sheep or country show that Eblex are attending, they have excellent materials to help you understand condition score.  Otherwise they have materials online - PDFs and videos - which will help.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Keeping lambs of different sex separate prior 2 slaughtering
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2018, 02:33:55 pm »
If the lambs are for yourself and are run-of-the-mill ‘white sheep’ types, chances are they’ll be good enough by mid to end October at the latest.  Have a feel towards the end of September (or anytime you think they might be ready soon - from about five months old) and if the tail is all bone then give them another month on good grass, or if the grass is other than lush and green, maybe give them a bit of concentrate too.  If you just give them 125-200g a day each, it will help them put on condition without making them tasteless.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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