Eid is a really challenging time of year for us. You see, we only raise about 100 butcher lambs per year. And we get about 100 calls in the days leading up to Eid, with all those people wanting to come on a single day to butcher their lamb. 🙂 This is our home, so we can’t accommodate more than one or two people here at a given time. And lambs all grow at different rates, so not all of our lambs are ready for slaughter right at Eid. It’s obviously impractical to think that we would sell our entire annual harvest in a one- or two-day period.
The other challenging thing is, of all the people that want to come butcher here on Eid, we never hear from most of them again. We need customers who can support our family farm year-round, not just one day a year. We realized we needed to have a policy which reduces the demand and finds a fair way to determine who gets the privilege of coming here for one of the few Eid lambs we have available. The laws of supply and demand apply here: there are many, many people who want lambs at this time of year; and there are very few lambs available, and even fewer on-farm-slaughter opportunities.
Thus, for one, Eid lambs are more expensive per pound, and smaller than lambs ready for slaughter in the fall/winter. A $100 non-refundable prepaid deposit is required to secure your appointment, with cash or check due for the balance on the date of slaugther. Our policy is, you have to be an existing customer who has already bought lamb at some other time of year in the past, if you want to request an appointment for an Eid lamb. Or, if you are a brand new customer, you must pre-pay the entire cost of a second lamb to be picked up some other time of year, in order to get an Eid appointment.
We will only book a few appointments in total for Eid lambs; and only for people who are skilled butchers and can do their own slaughter. Our butcher usually isn’t available to block out a whole slaughter day at this time, as his crew serve many farms. Your best bet for locking in a spot is to reserve in January for summer/fall Eid appointment. We want to preserve the experience of coming to a quiet, tranquil farm where the beauty of nature can be appreciated while sacrificing a lamb to nourish family and friends. We don’t want to create a hectic environment with dozens or hundreds of strangers all jockeying for parking and working on butchering at the same time, causing a large environmental stress on our farm and a lot of stress for our animals, and us, to manage the chaos! In the week leading up to Eid, we just stop answering the phone, because the call volume is honestly overwhelming. And we’re just not set up to accommodate last-minute requests for appointments, planning ahead is required when working with our farm.
All that said, we love the spirit of Eid; the beauty of the holiday and the thankfulness that it embodies is woven in our everyday mission of raising good animals in sync with nature. We just can only fit in so much Eid into one week, on one small family farm! 🙂