Isn’t it funny how a bit of sunshine after a long cold, rain filled winter brings us ‘out’ of the house. Living on a property one can see how sunshine after a persistent winter can bring changes. Despite the farmer being born and bred on the land, we drove back to the property after spending a lovely weekend with family in the city celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary, he commented on how the ‘grass had grown.”
I always look at him in amazement when he makes comments like this as we all know ‘grass always grows with water & heat.’ He also made a comment that he wondered who would eat it and as an answer to his question I spotted a kangaroo (they are wild on our property) and said looks like mum (kangaroo) & joey (baby kangaroo) are. They were standing in the afternoon sun and quite peaceful where they were sheltered from other animals and cars.
We drove past the front paddock where there is sheep and baby lambs, they are all looking very healthy and ‘fresh’ is the terminology. Lambs when they are free range and grass-fed always look good. They have a thin coat of fat under their skin and they actually skip as they walk. This is a sure-fire way to know the flock of sheep have a balanced diet and not living under constant stress of being fenced in and fed with lots of grain. This look will appear on them in the markets, this brings a higher price and will also ensure the consumer gets high quality lamb. If you ever travel to a farm, one way you can pick this is the flock looks clean – no such thing as white wool / grey maybe due to environmental factors but more importantly around their rear end it does not look dirty from faeces or ‘dags’ as clumps of dried faeces can do. This can be – but not always a sign of worms and the flock will need to be treated. Treatment does not change the quantity and quality of the meat but left untreated the lambs will not look happy or healthy and the meat may be dark in colour.
To see flocks of lambs sitting in the sun and not eating means that they are well fed and relaxed. Ewes will only walk a short distance from their young unless disturbed which on farms can be by dogs / humans / horses and vehicles, which are all used to move them from one paddock to another. Our lambs are ready to go to market so we are hoping they will come to a store near you soon.
Some people do not like the taste of lamb and prefer beef, chicken, pork or any other meat to lamb. Here in the Upper South East of South Australia we love all red meats with lamb being a favourite of mine especially for a family roast dinner meal. Not everyone likes the taste of lamb some people think it tastes too “gamey”.. I absolutely love the taste of our lamb. Notice I said “our” lamb … as our quality of sheep and lamb is second to none ( I am bias). Knowing how cared for our lambs are this makes the quality of the meat taste and smell different to grain fed lamb, we brag about being grass-fed, free roaming lambs superb to eat..
Our farming practices being second generation farmers have been developed and refined to a grass-based model for raising all of our animals on the property. In other words, our farm animals are “pastured” they are able to roam on pasture, and as they’re ruminants like cows and sheep, they eat grass directly from the ground. Our Cattle, sheep & lamb are free to roam in pastures eating a mixture of Lucerne, Rye Grass, Clover & Veldt which are naturally occurring within our area. The Lucerne is planted by us. We are surrounded by coppers and grows and this eliminates the risk of cross breeding animals thus mixing the genetics of the flock. Our property is divided by a dirt road , which we cross to be surrounded by croppers. Our land is not in a populated area thus affording us the ability to allow our stock to roam free without risk of interference of people.We have spent years planting trees to provide shelter from the changing climatic conditions which offer protection and places of safety for our animals.
As for the different tastes in lamb if you have eaten grass-fed you will know the taste and texture of grain fed is completely different. Having grass-fed lambs reduces the ‘gamey’ taste of lamb because the grasses being a natural food stuff for animals not like feed lot lambs gives the lambs a healthier diet and thus is healthier for human consumption. If animals are reared in stress free ‘natural’ environments with adequate food stuffs, water & shade from daily climatic conditions they are less likely to feel stress thus changing the colour and appearance of meat to the plate.
How healthier, you may ask? Please read the following http://www.marksdailyapple.com/monday-musings-new-grass-fed-study/ and though this relates to Beef the same can be said for lamb. This article is from http://www.marksdailyapple.com which point out the difference. If you are looking to ‘taste’ the difference contact us and order, better for you and better for your family.
Australian Lamb is a healthy choice for any lifestyle—a naturally nutrient-rich food with high levels of zinc, Vitamin B12, iron, riboflavin and thiamine.