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At Pipers Farm we believe that the meat from a lamb should have a hearty, distinctive flavour, be robustly coloured, have a good marbling of fat and be yieldingly tender once cooked. So much of the lamb sold these days comes from very young animals that have been weaned early and rushed to a ‘finished’ weight through feeding with concentrates. Meat from lambs so young is pallid and flavourless, because the animal just hasn’t had enough time to mature and grow strong.
The system that we use for our sheep is about as natural as it gets. All of our lambs come from Suffolk rams and North of England mules – a crossbreed that is well suited to Devon’s climate and thrives on our moorlands and pastures. We’ve chosen this breed because they can grow slowly, building muscle without running to excess fat like some native breeds. They have well-proportioned, well-balanced
Our lambs are born either in February (in the grassland flocks) or April (in the moorland flocks) and they run with their mothers for a full 5 months. This gives them the benefit of rich mother’s milk – nature’s best food, packed full of immunity boosting goodness. Once weaned, the lambs eat only pasture – a mixture of nutritious grasses, clovers and beneficial herbs. We don’t feed our lambs grains or cereals because their bodies aren’t designed to digest them and they grow perfectly well without them. The key to the best lamb is slow, natural growth to maturity, without rapid fattening or growth promoters.
We slaughter our lambs at 8 months onwards, and as we think lamb should be enjoyed throughout the year, not just in spring, we manage our flocks to ensure we have animals available at all times. The system we use and the breed we’ve chosen produces consistently good meat year-round. The lambs are slaughtered locally at a family run abattoir, in small batches to minimise stress. The
We nurture our slow grown animals in harmony with the environment, find out more about how we grow our lambs.