Sheep breeding have different purposes. Some farmers breed sheep for their wool, others for their milk, while others breed sheep for their meat. If you are raising sheep for meat, you would need breeds that are fast growing and have good carcasses. Medium and large breeds are the best sheep breeds for slaughter. Dorper and Hampshire breeds are two of the best sheep meat breeds in the world. This is due to their high resistance to parasite and hot weather, and also because of their ability to grow quickly and fatten up in a very short time.
In raising sheep for meat, there are 4 important tips you need to know.
1) Difference between feeder and slaughter lambs – slaughter lambs are those bought for immediate slaughter while feeder lambs are those bought to be raised before being slaughtered.
2) Profitability – factors affecting profits in raising sheep for meat include: lamb growth rate, cost of feeding, and market prices. The faster a lamb grow and the bigger it grows on less consumption mean better profits for the farmer.
3) Meat nomenclature – lambs are the meat of young sheep less than a year old, hogget can be the meat of a young male sheep or a maiden ewe, while mutton is meat coming from a ewe or a castrated male sheep. Lambs are generally softer than hogget and muttons, while older meat tends to have a stronger flavor than lamb.
4) In raising sheep for meat, you also need to know the different cuts and classification of its meat.
The meat is sorted into three sections: the forequarter, the loin, and the hind quarter. Usual cuts of lamb are: scrag end (of neck), middle neck, best end (of neck), loin, chump (and chump chops), leg, shank, shoulder, and breast.
Lamb chops are cut from the rib, loin and shoulder; lamb shank can either be meat from the arm of the shoulder, or a cut of meat from the upper part of the leg.
Raising sheep for meat can certainly be a very profitable business, especially in places where sheep meat is a delicacy and a popular cuisine. For example, in Northern Europe, many traditional dishes feature mutton and lamb. Barbecued mutton is also popular in the United States and in Canada. In Asia, where other red meat is avoided for religious reasons, sheep meat can be a perfect meat substitute. Aside from its meat, a sheep’s liver, lungs, heart, and testicle are eaten and considered a delicacy in many countries.