Katahdin ram too old for butchering?

lilfoot

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Friend has a 10 month old intact Katahdin ram lamb which he would like to butcher.
Just not sure if the meat will be ok or have a rammy flavour? I understand some people would still enjoy an older lamb but we are new to these flavours & would hope he would still be mild & tender.
What are your experiences & at what max age should in-tact ram lambs be butchered? Thanks!
Future rams will be castrated early ;)
 

mysunwolf

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From what I have heard, the ram should be castrated ASAP by a vet, and then raised a month or so longer to let the testosterone leave the body before being butchered.

Alternatively, I've heard that anything under 1 year is still good lamb, even a ram lamb, but I personally would not be interested in that kind of strong taste.
 

alsea1

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We butchered a katahdin ram at nine months or so. He bred our ewe before.
He tasted great. Not strong or icky.
 

goatgurl

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don't have an answer for you yet. the breeder i got my katahdin ram from swears that if the ewes are bred and the ram is out of rut that he will taste fine even over 2 years of age. my ewes are bred and the ram(he's 16 months) has been penned up by himself for the past month and will be butchered about the middle of December, would do it sooner but the shop i use doesn't take domestic animals from the middle of oct till the middle of dec because of deer season
 

Mike CHS

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We had an 18 month old ram and a 11 month old wether butchered at the same time (6 months ago). The packaging was all mixed together and I honestly can't tell which one we are eating except for the size of many of the cuts. They were never put in with ewes so that may have made a difference.
 

purplequeenvt

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A 10 month old ram will taste fine. So would a 3 or 4 or 5, etc.... year old. An older ram will stronger in flavor, but will be just as good. We routinely save the older sheep (and by older I mean that they could be anywhere from 2-8 years) for ourselves. Years ago we slaughtered a 7 or 8 year old Romney ram. I remember him being a little strong, but still good.

Castrating shouldn't affect flavor. I've never noticed a difference anyway. This was the first year that we castrated any of our meat lambs and that was as an experiment. We wanted to see if castrating affected their growth at all. We will probably be castrating most of our meat lambs in future, but that will only be for convenience. If they are wethered, they can go with any group so it cuts down on labor for us.
 

Mike CHS

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"This was the first year that we castrated any of our meat lambs and that was as an experiment. We wanted to see if castrating affected their growth at all."

Have you been able to really see any difference in growth or is it too early in the season?
 

purplequeenvt

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"This was the first year that we castrated any of our meat lambs and that was as an experiment. We wanted to see if castrating affected their growth at all."

Have you been able to really see any difference in growth or is it too early in the season?

2 of them did really well, but there is no way to know for sure that it had anything to do with the castration. We will be castrating again next year just because it makes things simpler in the fall.
 
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