Our sheep are multi-purpose crossbreeds, carefully bred and selected since 1997 to provide delicious meat and luxurious wool, with excellent mothering and milk production, good temperaments, and ability to thrive in brutal Kansas conditions. A detailed overview of our breeding program is in the farm’s blog.
We don’t routinely vaccinate, dock, or castrate our animals. They graze rotationally on unsprayed pasture when available, supplemented with highly nutritious tree browse and locally-grown hay (brome and alfalfa). We use antibiotics only when necessary due to illness or infection.
We sell our forage-fed lamb and mutton meat direct to consumers, and occasionally to locally owned restaurants or retail outlets. Bowser Meat Processing, in Meriden, KS, does a masterful job of processing our animals. We have worked with them since 1997, and remain impressed with their care of the animal, the product and the customer.
We define “lamb” as an animal less than a year old, “young mutton” as an animal less than 2 years old (usually less than 1 1/2 year), and “mutton” as anything over 2 years. Lamb has smaller cuts, is more tender and has the mildest flavor. Mutton has a richer flavor and may require more careful handling to produce a tender product on the plate. It is traditional for many cuisines: Indian, Mediterranean, Mexican, etc. Young mutton is in between.
We typically have lambs processed in the fall, at about 6-8 months of age. Mutton and young mutton may be processed in early summer or fall.
All ages are available as frozen, paper-wrapped retail cuts. We also offer a special deal on sides and whole, custom cut and wrapped to your specifications. Email for current price list.
Demand for lamb and mutton remains strong. Some of our original lamb customers continue to order a whole lamb or a side each year, and demand for retail cuts at the Farmer’s Market continues to be strong.
In 2015, we achieved an exciting new milestone: all 2015 lambs were raised without any chemical dewormers. Lamb condition at processing time was even better than years when we’ve used the dewormers! We credit our pioneering use of tree forages (mulberry, elm, and other) with this success, although a relatively mild, wet summer certainly helped. Although this new system increased labor, it significantly reduced both costs and losses due to internal parasites, while providing a premium product.
We are thrilled to learn that a succession plan is now in place to ensure that Bowser Meat Processing will continue to thrive following the retirement of its current owners/operators. It remains to be seen whether the new owners will move the plant forward to be USDA inspected, or remain State inspected. While either inspection will allow continued sales from the farm, the Farmer’s Market, and other local venues, USDA inspection would allow sales throughout the KC Metro area.
A new local option for USDA inspected processing is Bauman’s Butcher Block, in Garnett, KS.
Will you help do the work to ensure that sustainably grown, chemical free Pinwheel Farm lamb is available to local eaters?