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Differences in the taste of sheep breeds

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I found this today in the Japan Times. Interested in what stock raisers here think about this guy and his ideas. Was a little puzzled by his criticism of halal slaughter methods.

 

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2015/11/06/food/ethical-butcher-paris-brings-beef-tokyo/#.Vj4-BysZH_E

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I think he is quite a snob, and rather full of it. And his statements like "But in France a big farmer is one who has 30 cows". And he keeps them on 30 hectares of land." Right, bullshit.

Just like his ridiculous ideas about health; "Now everyone I know, they have the problem of cancer", this sounds like something a french character would say in an American comedy movie, inspector Clouseau comes to mind....

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Thanks.

Yeah, those environmental factors heavily play into it, along with good husbandry, feeding during gestation, deworming vaccinations etc.

 

Also (and not in the least) selective breeding; Iceland has a very well organized national registration of all sheep, in a central database called Fjarvis. Every farmer has his flock registered there and so there is good info on the productivity of individual sheep along with their pedigree. The main focus of the breeding is quality of meat.

 

Yes the sheep are unsupervised all summer, after lambing in spring they are usually put out on pasture for a short while and then they are driven out on the high lands, unfenced territory.

My sheep could walk to Reykjavik if they liked (they would have to cross the highland, some rivers and mountain ranges though...), on the other side of the island. We are just about done with the fall round up, we are still two ewes short with their lambs along with an unusual high amount of lambs whose mothers/siblings have come home. They most likely died under the rather harsh conditions of the early summer this year.

Smalahundur that's interesting about Fjarvis. Sorry about the losses.

 

How old are your lambs then when they go to the highlands? Are they weaned by then?

 

Lots of work for border collies in the fall round-up I'd guess?! :)

 

I have been curious what your signature line translates to in English? "Milli manns og..."

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The big goat flock that we seriously used for brush control we did not use for meat unless they had been on pasture for a season.

...snip...

The grass based butter was imo tastier, as was the cheese.

 

 

 

Tea, thanks for sharing that. I was hoping brush control and meat/milk wouldn't be mutually exclusive... I bet grass-based butter & cheese are tastier!

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Smalahundur that's interesting about Fjarvis. Sorry about the losses.

 

How old are your lambs then when they go to the highlands? Are they weaned by then?

 

Lots of work for border collies in the fall round-up I'd guess?! :)

 

I have been curious what your signature line translates to in English? "Milli manns og..."

Thanks.

 

The lambs are pretty young, not weaned, after lambing and when weather permits (that is kind of a mantra here...) they are usually out out on pasture for one or two weeks, and then they are "released in the wild". Some people drive their flock into the highlands. We don´t have to bother, just drive them of the pasture and let the ewes find their way.

 

Yeah, border collies have become more and more popular the last decades, traditionally the spits like Icelandic sheepdog was more used. More of a driving barking working style. I don´t like the modern ones, the "purebreds" are conformation bred, great dogs if you are looking for a lot of bark with no brain attached....

The nature of stock work has changed and in my humble opinion that means that the border collie is the best choice nowadays.

 

It means, loosely translated, "There is an invisible bond between a man, his horse and his dog".

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Thanks for sharing recipe ideas. I was going to make spaghetti and meatballs, but with the weather turing rainy and soon to be cold so I made a casserole instead. It turned out good, the mutton was mild. This was from my hair sheep ewe, so when I have an older wooly that needs to go I will compare and see if there is any difference in taste.

 

Samantha

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The lambs are pretty young, not weaned, after lambing and when weather permits (that is kind of a mantra here...) they are usually out out on pasture for one or two weeks, and then they are "released in the wild". ...snip...

 

It means, loosely translated, "There is an invisible bond between a man, his horse and his dog".

 

Those must be some very hardy lambs, and I have read that about icelandic sheep! Also read that they don't flock as well as others.... When are they weaned then?

---Love that invisible bond! :)

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Yeah, Icelandic sheep are pretty tough, physically and mentally. That´s why people here have a pretty strong preference for dogs on the harder side of the spectrum.

The reason they don´t flock very well is (I think) a. No real predators here so no real need for a strong flocking instinct, and b. the forage is rather thin, they probably need to spread out the way they do to get enough to eat.

Logically the farmers that use stockdogs (not everybody does amazingly) have sheep that flock a lot better than average.

 

As for the weaning, that is done simply after the roundup. the majority of the lambs is slaughtered, and the ones selected to live are separated from their mothers. In my case I use the next generation for training Both dogs and of course the sheep themselves. It is very practical to have sheep that know how to react to a dog. There are way to many round here that have not been dogged or worse been taught that all dogs are crazy gripping monsters (I call it anti dogged sheep). Sheep like that are afraid to turn from a dog, and more often than not decide to fight.

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Your reasoning for the sheep not having much of a flocking instinct is what I've seen offered for the British breeds as well. Sheep in other areas tend to have a greater flocking instinct mostly because of predation, and they often have access to better grazing or have shepherds who move them to different pastures as needed.

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The reason they don´t flock very well is (I think) a. No real predators here so no real need for a strong flocking instinct, and b. the forage is rather thin, they probably need to spread out the way they do to get enough to eat.

Logically the farmers that use stockdogs (not everybody does amazingly) have sheep that flock a lot better than average.

 

Interesting that even the "wilder" more "primitive" breeds unaccustomed to predation can still learn flocking from skilled dogs.

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