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Lava Lake Lamb Logo2I don’t normally post things such as ads, but I know good, grass fed, locally produced lamb is hard to find. And Idaho grass fed lamb is among some of the best! Here is a link to some local lamb that will ship your order to you, another service that is hard to find. Lava Lake Lamb. And while we are on the subject of lamb, just let me say that there are those folks who believe that Idaho lamb is wild and gammy. They really prefer Australian or New Zealand lamb. The “wild and gammy” taste from lamb is a function of age: Wild, gammy, strong flavors in the meat is because the piece of meat is probably over a year old when processed. In other words, it is mutton!

Lamb, hogget, and mutton (UK, India, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and Australia) are terms for the meat of domestic sheep (species Ovis aries) at different ages. In the Caribbean, and South Asia, the word “mutton” is often used to describe goat and sheep meat. A sheep in its first year is called a lamb; and its meat is also called lamb. The meat of a juvenile sheep older than one year is hogget; outside North America this is also a term for the living animal. The meat of an adult sheep is mutton, a term only used for the meat, not the living animals.

Lamb is the most expensive of the three types, and in recent decades sheep-meat is increasingly only retailed as “lamb”, sometimes stretching the accepted distinctions given above. The stronger tasting mutton is now hard to find in many areas, despite the efforts of the Mutton Renaissance Campaign in the UK. In Australia, the term prime lamb is often used to refer to lambs raised for meat. Other languages, for example French and Italian, make similar, or even more detailed, distinctions between sheep meat by age and sometimes by gender, though they generally lack the particular habit of English in having different terms for the living animal and its meat.

Lamb rib chops
The definitions for lamb, hogget and mutton vary considerably between countries. Younger lambs are smaller and more tender. Mutton is meat from a sheep over two years old, and has less tender flesh. In general, the darker the colour, the older the animal. Baby lamb meat will be pale pink, while regular lamb is pinkish-red.

Commonwealth of Nations
Lamb — a young sheep under 12 months of age which does not have any permanent incisor teeth in wear.(note that the Australian definition requires 0 permanent incisors, whereas the New Zealand definition allows 0 incisors ‘in wear’.)
Hogget — A rare term for a sheep of either sex having no more than two permanent incisors in wear
Mutton — a female (ewe) or castrated male (wether) sheep having more than two permanent incisors in wear. [Wikipedia]

I hope this helps the reader to understand the difference between lamb and mutton – it’s a matter of time! I had mutton in India. Lots of mutton. One does get used to it, but not easily. I very much prefer lamb; domestic lamb; grass fed lamb; locally produced lamb. And I do have a freezer full of locally grown, grass fed, no hormone lamb. It is delicious! Think about lamb done in a tagine. Yum-O!
Another great source for locally produced lamb is Meadow Lark Farms in Nampa, Idaho. However, they do not ship and give this explanation in their FAC section, “Do you ship? We’ve looked into it and the shipping is as expensive as the meat. We encourage folks who love good lamb and chicken to support farmers close to their home.”
And on the subject of hormones and antibiotics, they say “Do we use antibiotics or hormones on the livestock? Our philosophy is that healthy soil grows healthy grass which grows healthy animals. We try our very best to provide an environment that gives the animals optimum health. They have clean water, fresh air, shade & shelter, nutritious food, and exercise. We never use growth hormones. Very rarely do we use antibiotics, like penicillin. Antibiotics can be overused in people and animals. They are tools, ones that we employ after observation and deliberation—never as a first thought. We prefer rely on natural remedies like apple cider vinegar and garlic.”