Grass Fed Lamb Meat

Pure Pasture's Lamb is produced following a specialized process.

Sheep are herbivores in nature and therefore exhibit three characteristics: 

  1. Mobbing for predator protection, 
  2. Movement daily onto fresh forage and away from yesterday's droppings, and 
  3. A diet consisting of forage only - no dead animals, no chicken manure, and no fermented forage. 

Pure Pasture's goal is to approximate this template as closely as possible.  Our sheep eat fresh forage, a new pasture paddock roughly every day, and stay herded tightly with portable electric fencing. This natural model heals the land, thickens the forage, reduces weeds, stimulates earthworms, reduces pathogens, and increases nutritional qualities in the meat.


 

Pure Pasture's Katahdin Ewes on Pasture, 2015


Pure Pasture's Katahdin Lamb

A center piece of our work at Pure Pasture Farms is our Katahdin Lamb meat operation.  We are breeders of Katahdin for food production purposes and believe the mild flavored taste of this meat is superior to many other breeds that we could have adopted for our farm.  Here's some information about the Katahdin breed.

About Katahdin Hair Sheep:

Katahdin hair sheep originated on the Piel Farm in northern Maine beginning in 1957 when Piel imported three "African Hair Sheep". Over the next few years Piel crossbred with several different breeds of wool sheep. He wanted to develop a breed that was good for meat and didn't require shearing. In the early 1970s Piel named his new breed Katahdins after Mt. Katahdin in Maine.  Heifer Project International, an international livestock development charity, took an interest in Piel's work and his "improved" hair sheep. HPI realized that Katahdins were well suited to the southern U.S. and built a sizable flock at their center in Arkansas through the 1980s based on stock from Piel Farm and the Jepsons farm in Vermont. 

Katahdin Hair Sheep International was incorporated in 1985 and the first flock registry was developed in 1986.   

Katahdin are hardy, adaptable, low maintenance sheep that produce superior lamb crops and lean, meaty carcasses.  They do not produce a fleece and therefore do not require shearing.  They are medium-sized and efficient, bred for utility and for production in a variety of management systems.  Ewes have exceptional mothering ability and lamb easily; lambs are born vigorous and alert.  The breed is ideal for pasture lambing and grass/forage based management systems.Their smooth hair coat and other adaptive characteristics allow them to tolerate heat and humidity well.  Katahdins are also significantly tolerant of internal and external parasites and if managed carefully require only minimal parasite treatment.  Katahdins are docile so are easily handled.  They exhibit moderate flocking instinct. Live weight of a mature ewe in good condition usually ranges from 120 to 160 pounds; a mature ram will weigh 180 to 250 pounds.  Average birth weight of twins is about 8 pounds. Ewes and rams exhibit early puberty and generally have a long productive life.  Mature ewes usually have twins, occasionally producing triplets or quadruplets.  A well-managed and selected flock should produce a 200% lamb crop. 


Rams are aggressive breeders, generally fertile year round, and can settle a large number of ewes in the first cycle of exposure.  With selection a flock can consistently lamb throughout the year. The Katahdin ewe shows a strong, protective mothering instinct, usually lambs without assistance, and has ample milk for her lambs. Lambs produce a high quality, well-muscled carcass that is naturally lean and consistently offers a very mild flavor.  Lambs are comparable to other medium-sized maternal breeds in growth and cutability.  Lambs are desirable for specialty markets at a variety of ages and weights, wethers are appropriate for conventional North American markets at 95 to 115 pounds."  

Reference:  Katahdin Hair Sheep International, P.O. Box 778, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72702-0778 479-444-8441; khsint@earthlink.net