There are thousands of sheep around here. In the Dales it is almost all grassland and something has to eat the grass. In the Summer the dairy herds are out, their daily intake carefully controlled by electric fences; but all year round the fields are full of sheep. Their woolly coats withstand any weather (they even survive being dug out of snowdrifts most of the time) and their main aim in life seems to be eat, eat, eat. By this time of year the grass is of poor quality and to keep the sheep in good condition they have to have a supplement - in our case 'sheep nuts'. Nigel, the sheep nuts man, rang last night to say he is delivering two tons of nuts some time today. As the sheep eat two bags of this, plus two bales of silage every day, this should keep them going for a while. They now recognise the sound of the tractor coming with their daily rations and run to meet it. Sadly last week, they got too near and the farmer accidentally ran over and killed one of the sheep.
It has always been a mystery to me where all the sheep-meat goes. Lamb is very expensive in the shops here. We rarely eat it, mainly because the farmer finds it rather fatty (and I am hardly a meat-eater). But when I went into our Deli/Butchery the other day I found that he had started to keep mutton - easily recognisable by its much darker coloured meat. I spoke to him about it and he said it was becoming very popular. When I was a child I don't really remember much lamb, I think it was almost all mutton.
Do you eat lamb - or mutton for that matter - and if so, what do you do with it other than serve it up as chops or a roast joint?
**If you are working from an old computer and getting cross because it it slow - I have read in The Times this morning that 7 years is the same as 85 in computer terms, so be forgiving. (After my exercise class yesterday I felt twenty years younger so maybe you should start taking it on walks round the block!)