How to Tell When Your Lamb/Steer is Finished

This article was originally published on March 31, 2014. We're sharing it again so all our new readers have a chance to see it. It goes well with this week's piece about the new ATTRA/NCAT How-To booklet by Dave Scott, "Direct Marketing Lamb - A Pathway." If you raise cattle instead of lambs, here's a link for you. If you market your lamb directly to the consumer, the technique of using your hands to tell when a lamb is finished is an indispensible tool. Successfully mastering this technique will not only distinguish your product from others in the marketplace, but it may also reduce the cost of producing your premium lamb by harvesting at precisely the right time. The correct live-animal evaluation of finished lambs leads to a superior, differentiated product that will keep your customers coming back for more. To keep customers loyal to your product, your lamb must be both tasty and tender every time. You are, after all, offering a superior product to a discerning buyer who is paying a premium price. In today’s market, fat is frowned upon; however, lamb that is too lean will almost always be tough. It’s the balance of an exact amount of carcass fat and marbling with leanness that will provide your customers with a delightful dining experience. In general, 0.20 to 0.25 in

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