Sheep costs

Without taking into the consideration the cost of feeding, worming and a few other costs, I wanted to work out how much meat we might expect from our Soays and how that compares to the slaughter costs. It seems from a quick piece of research that a ewe’s live weight is around 25kg. I have also found some postings that suggest that hanging weight is around 60% of live weight. So we can assume boned meat to be about 12kgs from each ewe. The slaughter cost is about £25 not including petrol, which gives us meat cost of about £2 per KG. This compares well to supermarket organic meat which is more like £5 – £15 per kg.

I dont; think we will have tonnes of meat from two ewes, but it will be plenty for us to sample. We should have some to sell if we get a decent lambing percentage next year, which will be exciting. The lambs will take a year to fatten, so it might be Spring 2012 before we are selling any Sencemeadow lamb, but we should be able to recoop some expenses this way.


2 responses to “Sheep costs

  • Priscilla Weaver

    Good evening Sence Meadow shepherds – I read your post about costs associated with butchering and eating Soay and thought you might be interested in a similar post I added to my blog awhile back. While the measuring system is different (lbs vs. kg etc.), our experience should be similar to yours. Over here across The Pond, we must wait until the sheep are at least a year old, and better a year and a half (so they can eat our free grass for two summers before autumn slaughter), in order to get 18-22 pounds cut and wrapped from one animal. In any case, here’s the link to the post about butchering and meat choices: Best wishes from all the critters at Saltmarsh Ranch. Priscilla

    • ZH

      Hi Priscilla! Weirdly I was just about to note a link to your website, particularly your recipes page, they look amazing, can’t wait to do some experimenting! We’re very curious to see just how much meat we get from the two lambs we took today. Compared to the other sheep arriving at the abattoir they did look very small…although the guys working their did seem oddly bothered about the horns! I was interested to note your comments on the size differences between American and British bred Soays. I think ours are pretty average for over here so I think our yield will end up being somewhat less than the 18-22 pounds you manage. We’ll be weighing it up and posting the results anyway. We also noted that you keep yours for longer, and we will consider doing this in future. One of the reasons we didn’t this year was because our ram runs in with the ewes all the time and we were a little concerned he may tup with the two youngsters. We’ll keep thinking on though…
      Thanks again, and best wishes to you from the snowy (at the moment anyway) UK!

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