Quick updates

  1. The King is dead.  Bucky went off to freezer camp in late April.  He’d gotten crankier in late middle age and was hassling everyone.  Clovis followed two weeks later.  I will get around to the pictures later this week hopefully.
  2. Life finds a way.  Zuko IV was castrated last fall, but somehow, against all odds, he regrew a testicle.  It’s small, has a bit of scarring, and is totally functional.  Oopsie.  Now he’s a possible candidate for the surprise lambs we thought we might have narrowly averted.
  3. Speaking of which, his dam, Brunhilde, dropped surprise twins Sunday evening while we were enjoying the nice weather.  The likely possibles include her own son and her half-brother.  It’s just a little Wagnerian.  They are a large black ram who is a little slow on the uptake and a vigorous but tiny little brown ewe who is simply adorable.  Pictures also to follow later this week just as hopefully.
  4. Faux Cow fell victim to predation.  Coyotes and black bears have been partying it up in our way way back.  We had gotten her back into good health and she was getting hearty and lanky like her dam, Dottie was in youth.  Oh well.
  5. We have a lot of yard work to do, the grass is going hog wild.  And we discovered the barn is too damp to store feed or pellets in sacks, so we’ll have to switch over to the garage for those.
  6. Icelandic rams are delicious at 4 years of age.  Tough, but flavorful without greasiness or bitterness.  Slow cooking them gives a really delightful repast. Honestly comparable to standard sheep breeds’ 18 month hoggetts. We had butchering help from a friendly local down the road and we sent him off with some mutton, which was turned into burger and was excellent, delicious, great in omelettes.  This made us relax about future slaughters of the older animals as they age.
  7. The kids are really taking to chores and starting to develop the general habit of tidying up before bedtime and after dinner.

That’s all for now.

 

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Sokka dressed at about 40 pounds.

He weighed about 120 live, give or take a few pounds. So he was spot on. They’re putting weight on in the right places, even if it’s not as much as we’d like.

Now we’re just waiting for lambs next month, right around the time summer school gets fired up.

Photos of Scottie’s butchering (graphic)

How to butcher a delicious ram of slightly more than one year in age, aka a hoggett ram.

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From this…

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…to this.

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then this…

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And now two sides of almost lamb.

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Scottie did have a good heart.

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Do not do this when removing the offal you want to throw away. Unless you enjoy scooping it up with a shovel later.

It took about three hours, mostly because it was being done without the benefits of a block and tackle.  Hoggett is just lamb a few months past a year, so still perfectly tender and delicious and a long way from mutton town.

Ram Tamer says “Scottie is now yummy yummy.”

 

Scottie’s summer slaughter

…was messy but went decently (no contamination of anything we wanted to keep).  66lbs of meat plus offal was the approximate final tally, which means a live weight of about 200lbs.  He did have a full belly though, because we weren’t planning to slaughter this weekend for sure, so we didn’t restrict his food to reduce that.

More on Monday, including pictures!