Can I butcher my own lamb on the farm?

Yes, you can! You must be a skilled butcher and bring all your own tools and equipment. We can park the tractor such that you can use the hydraulic loader bucket to hang the carcass for skinning and cleaning. There is a cold water garden hose available, and you can wash your hands in warm water and soap in the barn sink. You are solely responsible for safety and cleanliness of the process, and encouraged to bring sanitized, sharpened knives; and clean bags and containers for processing and transporting the meat. You must have a way to rapidly chill the meat to 42º within 24 hours, for best meat quality and to lower the risk of food-borne illness.

Please plan on cleaning up after your processing and hauling the offal with you (hide, guts, head and all other byproducts). In most municipalities, you can legally dispose of this in your normal trash bin. Ideally there should be no trace once the job is done. We like to keep a very clean farm, and this is also our home, so please help us keep things tidy.

Keep in mind that the law allows the owner of an animal to do his own slaughter and processing. Alternatively, you can pay a licensed, custom-exempt or a USDA-inspected butcher to do the process for  you. There is no in-between, it’s not legal for us to help you slaughter, or even for a friend to help you, since neither are licensed butchers.  But, when you purchase an animal, once the financial transaction is complete, you are legally entitled to butcher your own animal.