In late fall we will have our lambs harvested. They have lived on grass and other growing plants only, plus salt and minerals. They are never fed grain, soy, distiller by-products, etc. Also no drugs, chemicals, or antibiotics. We use herbal wormers.
The cost is $5.95 / lb hanging weight plus the harvester’s fee for whatever you have done. We ask for a $50 deposit to hold your order and the rest can be paid when the harvester tells us the hanging weight.
We expect the lambs to weigh about 55 lbs hanging weight* and the cut product at the end would be about 40 lbs, not including the bones, which are excellent for broth and can be cut and bagged by the harvester.Currently (July 2021) the harvester we are using is charging $45+$15 per lamb plus $1.35/lb hanging weight for cut, wrap, and freeze in vacuum seal. You can expect extra fees for optional items such as sausage, extra de-boning, and other specialty items.
*This is based on the hanging weight, NOT the pounds of product you receive. Hanging weight is the weight of the lamb before cutting but after the removal of inedible parts, when it is moved to the cooler for aging. Hanging weight includes some bones.
EXAMPLE: If your lamb does happen to weigh exactly 55 lbs (hanging weight) and you don’t request any optional extras, you will owe the harvester $134.25. You will owe us $327.25. So your total cost will be about $461.50 and you will have about 40 lbs of cuts of lamb for your freezer, plus bones if you ask for them. At just over $11.50 / pound, this is well below the price many farms and stores charge for 100% grass-fed lamb.
When the time arrives to harvest the lamb, we will put you in contact with the harvester at the right time, who will walk you through all the details. They hear from folks all the time who have never ordered a custom cut lamb before, so don’t be worried if this is all new to you. Please tell the harvester when you call that you have cutting instructions and they will put the right person on the phone. They have your names and know who is getting which lamb.
When the lamb is cut, wrapped and frozen, we will get the weight, and send you an invoice. After paying us, you can pick up your scrumptious lamb in Mt. Airy, MD and pay the harvester directly for their labor.
Here are some things to take into consideration:
Shanks – whole, stew (chunks) or ground. If kept whole, these should be cooked slow and moist. I generally get them as stew chunks.
Shoulders – chops, roast, stew or ground. I have them ground because my family really likes ground meat. The roasts and chops from this area are delicious too.
Rack (rib and loin) – loin roast or chops, rib roast or chops. I get them cut into chops, which are excellent, though we love them as roasts as well.
Ribs – whole with pocket, riblets, or ground. I get this ground.
(rear) Legs – whole or cut in half, bone in or boneless, or chops. I often choose to get one whole hind leg (think ham) as a boneless roast perfect for a holiday gathering (leg of lamb). It also can come as steaks, but I’ve read that lamb steaks (aka leg chops) aren’t a great cut. Too many tendons, etc, so I have the other turned into chunks or ground.
I generally get a fair amount of stew / kabob chunks, which we made amazing kabobs out of this past year (recipe below). In my experience stew chunks are close in size to a grape and kabob chunks are closer to a strawberry.
Keep in mind that if you choose every roast and chop available, it won’t leave much for stew or ground. It’s all about trade-offs.
Much of the fabulous nutrition is in the bones, organs and fat. To that end, I asked them to cut and bag ALL the bones of my lamb. If you just ask for “soup bones” it is only a small fraction of the good bones. You don’t have to get bones at all, if you don’t use them.
*Note: This text was taken from nearly word-for-word from our farming partners at Grazy Days Family Farm. Thanks guys!