Purchasing a Lamb From Oakvale Farm

New to buying lamb shares? Here's everything you need to know!

Fill your freezer with delicious lamb by purchasing a whole or half lamb from us! Buying our lamb gives you control over how your lamb is raised and processed. It is a great way to try every cut of lamb available and it will not overwhelm you or your freezer. Lamb is delicious both braised, stewed or grilled. Look for recipes from the Mediterranean or at www.americanlamb.com for great ideas on how to prepare your lamb.

Our lambs are pasture raised and antibiotic-free. Our katahdin hair sheep produce mild tasting and lean lamb. It is not the same as commercially raised lamb you would find in a grocery or restaurant. 

How are lambs sold?

We sell shares of lambs. This means that when you purchase a lamb share, you are purchasing a quarter, half, or a whole live lamb. You are also responsible for the processing cost for that lamb (quarter/half of the processing cost if you purchase quarter/half of a lamb). The processing cost is a flat rate set by the processing facility and changes yearly. The lamb comes wrapped in freezer paper and frozen.

Our next processing date will occur fall-winter 2020. Due to COVID, processors are currently overwhelmed since so many folks have turned to locally processed meat (which we think is great!). However, It is hard to predict what their availability will be like towards the end of the year when our lambs are ready. We could be facing some delay in getting lambs processed. It is possible processing could be delayed into early 2021.

Lambs 120lbs Live Weight are $300 plus $100 processing cost  = $400 total (45-55lbs take home cuts)

Smaller lambs may be available at times ($2.50/lb live weight + $100 processing cost). We would not recommend sending a lamb less than 80lbs to the processor. The cuts/yield will be small, and your final cost of meat will go up since the processing fee is a flat rate of $100.  

Adult ewes less than 5 years of age may occasionally be available. They are $1.50/lb live weight (110-150lbs) + $100 processing cost. We have processed many adult ewes and they are just as mild in flavor as lamb, but cuts will be a little tougher than lamb. Can be requested as ground only or in standard cuts. Limited quantity available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please email us at oakvalefarmtable@gmail.com to reserve a lamb. We sell out of lambs, so contact us early! A deposit of $50 is required. I will take your name down now, then ask for this deposit to be submitted closer to the processing date. The remaining balance will be due upon pickup or delivery of your lamb share.

 

We do not sell lamb by the cut. If you are interested in why, please scroll to the bottom of the page for the explanation

You may buy a live lamb and take it to the processor of your choice, or process it yourself. You will need to have an appropriate, safe way to transport the lamb (a trailer or livestock crate). We will not allow lambs to be hogtied or transported in a trunk. We do not allow any on farm killing or processing.

What sort of cuts will I get?

Bone in Neck roast/stew, shanks, rib and loin chops 1.5 inches thick, half leg roasts, ribs, ground, and sometimes extra bones. If you order a half or quarter you may not receive some cuts if there is only one package of them (shanks, neck roast), but we will try to accommodate your request as best we can. You must notify us if you would like to request any of the organ meats (liver, heart, kidneys).

How big are the lambs?

The size of lambs can vary. Unlike large commercial feedlots, we allow animals to grow at their own pace. We try to get lambs to approximately 120lbs before processing so that you get good sized chops.

What I will take home?

You take home the finished cuts or “yield” which can be roughly calculated from live weight.

Hanging weight (AKA dressed weight or carcass weight) is what you get when you remove the parts that are inedible like the hide, feet, head, some of the bones and most of the innards. The dressing percentage for most lambs is about 50%. A 120lb lamb will be about 60lbs hanging weight.

The percentage of the hanging weight that remains after breaking the carcass down into cuts is generally between 55% - 75% of hanging weight. This percentage varies based on a number of factors including:

  • Bone-in vs. boneless cuts – This will dramatically affect yield; the more boneless cuts that are made, the lower the yield.

  • The amount of fat remaining on the meat cuts – The yield will vary based on how much surface fat the cutter leaves on the cuts.

  • A 120lb lamb that dresses at 60 lbs. will usually yield between 45-55 lbs. consisting of bone-in meat & some ground.

  • A whole lamb costs you around on average $7-$9 per pound of take-home meat. If you order only ground or boneless, the cost per pound will be higher.

  • * These calculations are all approximations, and take home meat weight will vary depending on all of the factors above*

How do I buy a lamb share?

Since a lamb share will be raised, transported, and processed specifically for you, we require a $50 deposit. Your name and contact information will be recorded, and a lamb will be assigned to you. You can either mail us a check or send via paypal - oakvalefarmtable@gmail.com.

When happens after I place a deposit?

Your lamb will continue grazing until it reaches the perfect weight. We then schedule an appointment at a locally owned meat processing facility. We will notify you when a date has been set. 

When will my lamb share be ready?

We process lambs once in the fall. Lamb shares are ready approximately 1-2 weeks after the processing date. When the processor notifies us that the lamb is ready, we will notify you and arrange to get it to you. Your balance is due in cash upon receiving your lamb.

How much freezer space will I need for my lamb?

Plan on approximately one cubic foot of freezer space for every 15-20 pounds of meat. The interior of a milk crate is slightly more than a cubic foot. For a whole lamb, you will need 2-3 cu. ft of freezer space.

If you are interested in the intricacies of processing meat from local farms in Florida, here is a short summary:

There are 2 types of red meat processing facilities (slaughterhouses):​

  1. USDA Custom: A facility that processes meat for private owners. These facilities are generally small family owned businesses. We use this type of facility to process our lambs. Meat processed here cannot be resold by the cut at retail.

  2. USDA Retail: A facility that is allowed to process and package meat for sale of retail cuts. We do not have any of these facilities locally, which is why we no not sell lamb by the cut.

There are 2 ways Florida allows small local farms to sell red meat​ to customers:​

  • By selling whole or shares of an animal: This means you purchase whole or half ownership of a live lamb plus processing cost. The farm is allowed to provide scheduling and transportation of the animal to a processing facility for the purchaser, and may charge for this service. We provide this service at no cost.​ 

  • By the cut: A USDA retail processing facility must be used. Since we do not have any of these locally, we cannot sell lamb by the cut. 

I read about, or have purchased meat by pounds of hanging weight. What about that?

Some farms sell meat by hanging weight. We find that most of our customers are not familiar with this term.

Hanging Weight– also known as dressed weight or carcass weight – is what you get when you remove the parts that are inedible like the hide, feet, head, some of the bones and most of the innards.

The dressing percentage for most lambs is about 50%. A 100 lb. lamb will have a hanging weight or dressed weight of approx. 50lbs, although this varies by breed and age of the lamb. Parts included in this weight can vary between processing facilities (some include some organs and some do not).

 

We have tried to simplify the process of buying lamb and therefore set one flat price for our lambs, rather than charging by hanging weight.