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sheep-lambs-msg - 4/16/11

 

Medieval sheep and lambs. Breeds. Raising them.

 

NOTE: See alos the files: livestock-msg, The-Sheep-art, wool-clean-msg, wool-hist-msg, wool-clean-msg, lamb-mutton-msg, rabbits-msg, spinning-msg, felting-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

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Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 16:33:34 GMT

From: "Kirsten Garner  at  Archaeology" <KGARNER at hsy1.ssc.ed.ac.uk>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Sheep breeds

 

> I am unfamiliar with modern sheep still shedding.  I had not realized they

> would eventually shed (I have heard of sheep not being sheared and having

> coats develop for a year and half before sheared).

 

Up here in Scotland, the Blackfaces on the hills start shedding out

in May/June. I'll admit though that down south (Shropshire, where I

worked for a year), the sheep tend to be of a breed (Clun) that hold their

coat longer and they *were* sheared in June (I remember this very

very well....didn't know that if you flipped a sheep on its back it

didn't realize it could flip itself back over and it wouldn't really

struggle all that much. :)

 

Julian

 

 

Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 17:32:03 GMT

From: "Kirsten Garner  at  Archaeology" <KGARNER at hsy1.ssc.ed.ac.uk>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Sheeop breeds

 

> I believe sheep in the Middle Ages were sheared in

> June/July, well after the January/February lambing

 

Just in case there's anyone out there who's really interested in the

management of domestic sheep, lambing in Jan/Feb is not technically

correct. (Sorry...just caught this). When lambing takes place is due

to where you are (latitude) and how high you are (above sea level).

Jan/Feb lambing in Britain is only in the south. Lambs born then up

here would die within a few hours. As you go farther north, the

lambing season goes back. Here (Edinburgh/Borders valleys), it starts

around 1st April. In the Borders hills, it's around 15th April. And

in the Highlands things only start happening around 1st May. There

simply isn't the warmth nor the grass to support them around here in

January or February.

 

This would also go towards the availablity of meat. You wouldn't have

lamb until mid-April at the earliest in this area of Scotland.

 

Julian

 

 

From: kellogg at rohan.sdsu.edu (C. Kevin Kellogg)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Animal breeds in period?

Date: 2 Jul 1997 20:17:04 GMT

Organization: San Diego State University

 

Elizabeth A. Anderson (eanderso at acs.ucalgary.ca) wrote:

: I am looking for documentation on animal breeds in northern

: Europe in period - especially sheep. My background is in medieval

: studies, and I know a lot about the medieval English wool trade,

: but I've no clear idea what breeds of sheep contributed to the

: success of the trade. Lincolns? Leichesters? Romneys? Of course,

: the Merinos in Spain did help bring about the end of the English

: trade, but that is late in period - and there weren't any Merinos

: in England at the relevant period.

 

       Check out <URL: http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep>;.

They list the Wiltshire Horn, Black Welsh Mountain, Cheviot,

Gute, Icelandic, Manx Loaghtan, Shetland, Soay, and Welsh Mountain

Badger-faced as period breeds.  They have extensive bibliographies

and lots of interesting information.

 

Avenel Kellough

 

 

Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 07:52:09 -0700

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: Lamb (was Re: SC - New Job)

 

Hi all from Anne-Marie

 

Brighid asks us:

>Actually, there seem to be very few period recipes for lamb, although

>there are many for mutton, and quite a few for kid and calf.  I would

>surmise that this is because adult sheep of both genders are productive,

>in a way that goats and cattle are not.  Anyone who is wise in medieval

>animal husbandry wish to comment?

 

in my sheep raising experience, most of what comes to your average butchers

counter is "lamb" that is pretty close to a year old, which makes it

suspiciously mutton like in my book. (its cheaper to raise one big sheep

for a longer time than a bunch of little sheeps for a shorter period of

time. Only one worming, only one tail docking, only one ear tagging, only

one dehorning, only one...you get the idea)

 

as for the usefulness of sheep vs cows and goats...the gestation period for

sheep is the same as goats, as well as the fact that goats and sheeps tend

to have multiple births, while cows do not. Male cattle can be used to pull

plows, wagons, etc. your logic that you eat the useless boy goats and boy

cows while keeping the boy sheeps for wool makes some sense, though why

keep a boy sheep who can only make wool when if you eat him (yum yum!), you

cna keep his sister who not only can make wool but can also make milk for

cheese and more baby sheeps.

 

Methinks part of it is that most of our cookbooks are English, ie land of

wool. If we look at Spanish sources and others from warmer climes, we see a

larger porportion of goat, I bet.

 

- --AM

 

 

Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 11:44:30 -0500

From: Heitman <fiondel at fastrans.net>

Subject: SC - Re: Lamb

 

At 10:06 AM 5/26/99 -0400, you wrote:

>Actually, there seem to be very few period recipes for lamb, although

>there are many for mutton, and quite a few for kid and calf.  I would

>surmise that this is because adult sheep of both genders are productive,

>in a way that goats and cattle are not.  Anyone who is wise in medieval

>animal husbandry wish to comment?

>Brighid

 

Actually, I would look at it in a different text.

 

The number of kid and calf recipes would result in the preponderous number

of people keeping a single adult cow or goat. Remember that these are

milking animals, and as such, need to calve or kid regularly to insure the

production of that milk. If the milk animal doesn't have the correct

internal hormone level, the milk dries up. In period, before the scientific

intervention of drugs, the standard way for these animals to get that

hormone level was to have a baby that needed suckling. NO animal will give

milk until that infant is born (or those hormones are made present

artificially).

 

Combine that with the basic necessity that marks a limit on the number of

animals an individuals acreage could support, if the milk was what was

desired, why keep the infant? It would only endanger the future life of the

mother by consuming the food supply of the parent after it is done

suckling. Note that most veal and kid is defined by an age at which sucking

has ended.

 

Sheep, on the other hand, are kept in large numbers, require large tracts

of grazing and penning land, and lambs go fairly quickly from suckling to

grazing. We do NOT seek the milk from sheep, but rather the wool. I do not

know of any instance where a single sheep was kept for its wool production.

A single cow or goat kept for its milk production is still common today.

And that one animal would be kept until it was too old to calve again. Then

a single new animal would be purchased.

 

In sheep farming, the herd is culled at least once possibly several times a

year, depending on breed and wool harvest, with up to half the flock being

sold. Prices for wool and for mutton will also work towards deciding which

gets sold, the inside or the outside. This culling usually takes place

after the spring clipping, significantly after the lambing season.

Generally, it is the older sheep which demonstrate a loss in wool

production or may not make it thru the next season, followed by other less

productive or healthy animals. The lambs are kept to replace these animals.

 

Then again, compared to cows and goats, how much faster does a sheep reach

maturity? This might also make significant difference in what gets sold when.

 

IOW, calves and kids are killed because they have already done their task

and most people had a parent. Lambs got slaughtered only because there is a

small market for lamb, and were kept by a relative few. Finding period lamb

recipes would therefore, IMO, be proportionally harder to find.

 

One also might look at what the definition of "lamb" is. I recently helped

cook a feast in which "leg of LAMB" was served. I expected to be dealing

with a (max.) 5-6 pound bone in piece of meat. These averaged 10-12 pounds

each. Sounds more like a Mutton Shank to me. But several butchers from

different places quoted the same weight expectancy. Still tasted delicious

(and NO, there was no mint- sauce, seasoning, or jelly.)

 

Franz

Calontir

 

 

Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 19:24:17 -0000

From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar at isholf.is>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Lamb

 

Franz wrote:

>Combine that with the basic necessity that marks a limit on the number of

>animals an individuals acreage could support, if the milk was what was

>desired, why keep the infant? It would only endanger the future life of the

>mother by consuming the food supply of the parent after it is done

>suckling. Note that most veal and kid is defined by an age at which sucking

>has ended.

 

So is lamb in many countries. And they were - still are, in many cases -

either slaughtered or weaned as soon as possible, so their mothers can be

milked. Here in Iceland, they were usually weaned at 4-5 weeks, and had to

fend for themselves in the mountain pastures until they were slaughtered at

4-6 months. Anything older than that wasn´t - and isn´t - isn´t considered

lamb around here.

 

The taste of a male lamb will change markedly somewhere between 6-8 months,

unless it is gelded. This is called "taste of ram" here and most people find

it unpleasant. So a male lamb was either killed or gelded before it reached

that age, unless it was to be kept for breeding. Besides, lamb was usually

considered inferior to mutton (unless perhaps very young spring lamb).

 

In France, according to the Larousse Gastronomique, the oldest lambs that

you can buy are grazing lambs, 6-9 months of age, 30-40 kilos. I´m not sure

but I think lamb in Britain is usually not more than 9 months old.

 

>We do NOT seek the milk from sheep, but rather the wool. I do not

>know of any instance where a single sheep was kept for its wool production.

 

Maybe not, but around here many poor people had only two or three ewes and

kept them both for milk and wool production, and also for the meat - mostly

as mutton.

 

>In sheep farming, the herd is culled at least once possibly several times a

>year, depending on breed and wool harvest, with up to half the flock being

>sold. Prices for wool and for mutton will also work towards deciding which

>gets sold, the inside or the outside. This culling usually takes place

>after the spring clipping, significantly after the lambing season.

 

That is true when the sheep are kept for their wool only but when the ewes

are milked, it would make no sense to cull the flock shortly after the

lambing season. Here, sheep were hardly ever killed outside the

"slaughtering season" (October-November). Most of the male lambs that had

survived the summer were gelded; some of the female lambs were used to

replace old or unproductive ewes; the rest were killed.

 

>IOW, calves and kids are killed because they have already done their task

>and most people had a parent. Lambsgot slaughtered only because there is a

>small market for lamb, and were kept by a relative few. Finding period lamb

>recipes would therefore, IMO, be proportionally harder to find.

 

Well, there may be another reason. The following is a quote from A Gourmet´s

Guide by John Ayto:

"In Anglo-Saxon times one ate simply sheep ... In the late thirteenth

century, however, in what might be interpreted as the first instance of

French oneupmanship over the gastronomically illiterate British, the Old

French word moton was drafted into the language, introducing for the first

time the possibility of a distinction between the live animal and its flesh

used for food. (In fact mutton was from early on used for live sheep as

well, and this continued until comparatively recently; and the distinction

from lamb as the flesh of young sheep does not appear to have developed

until the seventeenth century.)"

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 08:00:22 EDT

From: WOLFMOMSCA at aol.com

Subject: Re: Lamb (was Re: SC - New Job)

 

>From the Meat Department at the UF School of Animal Science:

 

Veal and Lamb are only Veal and Lamb as long as the animal is milk-fed.  If

you pen them up and feed them milk from a bucket and they don't graze, they

are Veal and Lamb.  If they are free range beasties, they will not be Veal or

Lamb once the mother begins weaning, which can begin as early as 3-4 weeks of

age. It is not recommended that exclusive milk feeding be continued past 12

weeks of age, for the health & well-being of the animal.   If you exclusively

milk feed much beyond  12 weeks, you will have yourself an animal which is

not going to develop the muscle tissue necessary to walk, graze, or breed.

The decision is the farmer's as to whether that animal will be turned loose

to grow up, or be removed from the herd.  By the time it's 12 weeks old, most

birth defects and breeding weaknesses will have evidenced themselves and the

farmer will know exactly what to do with said beast.

 

Now you know why the animal rights folks get so up in arms about the beef

industry. Big ranchers will often milk-feed calves for up to six months,

waiting for the market prices to be "right".

 

However, this is now.  In the Middle Ages, I suspect that Veal and Lamb

recipes were specifically designed for the small number of herd culls which a

good husbandman would separate and slaughter early in their lives due to the

same types of birth defects and weaknesses the breeds still have today.  And

it would only be on large farms with fairly large herds of the same breed of

animal. The local villagers who kept a cow would probably cook their culls

in the same recipes they used for older animals, just didn't need to cook the

meat as long.   Medieval cooks didn't watch a clock to determine "doneness".

They would constantly check the dish for doneness by other means.

 

Wolfmother

 

 

Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 10:14:04 -0700

From: "Kirsten Garner" <kgarner1 at ix.netcom.com>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: RE: Zooarchaeolgy

 

> Yes there is the Rare breeds Trust (assn or similar) I've seen them about

> but most of what I've spoken to suggest Soay Soay or Soay !

 

And I just fell right into that trap. :) I'm an Iron Age zooarchaeologist by

trade, so that's where my first thoughts jump too when someone asks me about

ancient breeds. :) For those of you who don't know, the Soay is an "ancient"

breed of sheep with dark brown, fairly wiry hair. They're also fairly small

and goat-like. All the big Bronze / Iron Age "living history"

reconstructions have them around somewhere.

 

> Looking at Zooarchaeolgy books Romans had a white woolly sheep and by

> medieval times the sheep illustrated are bot soay the hair to wool ratio is

> all wrong & so on. When compared to textile finds, Therefore Soay whilst I

> accept was still in existance was not THE be all and end all I feel.

 

There was a wonderful woman on here a year ago who sent me a wonderful paper

on sheep and wool in the medieval period. Is she still around out there? :)

 

> Butser publications are quite interesting, but on their web page it suggested

> Shetland sheep in Iron age Britain which contradicts other suggestions that

> this was a scandinavian breed type brought around 1000 years ago to this

> shore.

 

Interestingly enough, this was something I was meant to work on from the

genetic level whilst I was in Edinburgh. The project never started,

unfortunately, but the idea was to build up genetic profiles to

once-and-for-all determine the origin of the Orkney/Shetland sheep.  I'm

inclined to believe they are Scandinavian in origin.

 

> There are some good books on the drover trails , I read an

> article recently re this subject

 

We had one running though the farm in Scotland (north of Peebles) - it was

still there, plain as day. :)

 

Julian ferch Rhys

 

 

Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 11:23:15 -0700

From: "Kirsten Garner" <kgarner1 at ix.netcom.com>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: RE: Sheep

 

Alright - here's what I've found so far on the sheep question. :)

 

As far as period breeds, look to the Icelandic (for that area of the world

as they didn't really come out of Iceland, and that's what's kept the breed

so pure), Welsh Mountain, Cheviot, Hebridean / St. Kilda, Manx, Shetland,

Wiltshire Horned, Old Norfolk, and Scottish Blackface. Cotswold and Romney

should be used with caution as they have both been "improved" since period

(Romney with the non-period Leicester). On the Scottish Blackface, there has

been considerable breeding effort put into increasing the length of the

wool - in early period, the wool of this sheep would have been shorter.

There's not been any OOP out-crossing that I can find to lengthen the wool -

just selective breeding within the breed.

 

As always, comments and more info gratefully received. :)

 

Julian ferch Rhys

 

PS: Oops! I forgot the Ryeland in that litany of sheep breeds.

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 03:18:53 -0400

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: "INTERNET:sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Soay Sheep

 

>What is "Soay", please?  

 

A primative type os sheep, found in the Northwest islands of Scotland &

paraded out for THE sheep of the past despite the fact the textile evidence

dosen't add up to it

 

Mel

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 06:24:11 -0700

From: Curtis & Mary <ladymari at cybertrails.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Zooarchaeolgy

 

> Yes there is the Rare breeds Trust (assn or similar) I've seen them about

> but most of what I've spoken to suggest Soay Soay or Soay ! Looking at

> Zooarchaeolgy books Romans had a white woolly sheep and by medieval times

> the sheep illustrated are bot soay the hair to wool ratio is all wrong & so

> on. When compared to textile finds, Therefore Soay whilst I accept was

> still in existance was not THE be all and end all I feel.

 

From some of my readings the Karakul sheep may be the first domesticated

breed. I don't remember how long back, would have to figure out which

pile of stuff that info is in.  Karakuls are fat tailed desert sheep,

with long straight wool on adults, but the kids have soft curly pelts

and are known as 'Persian Lambs' Today, even in their native range they

are not pure, having been bred to other breeds to try and get more sheep

faster. In the US they are considered a rare breed, I think there are

only about 30 people listed with registry here as members.  In their

native ranges they were used for wool, meat, milk. Their wool is what

"Persian" carpets were originally made from.

 

Mairi, ATenveldt

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 06:31:02 -0700

From: Curtis & Mary <ladymari at cybertrails.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Zooarchaeolgy

 

Elizabeth Barber addresses some of this in her book "Prehistoric

Textiles"....there is no way on earth anybody can spin normal Soay

hair! It is extremely short and coarse, more like deer than sheep.

 

Mairi, Atenveldt

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1999 06:14:03 -0400

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: LIST SCA arts <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Sheep & goats

 

I have found a ref  suggesting that the white faced Dartmoor is the closest

longwool breed to those of the post roman breeds, they still have horned

males. Long curly wool, somewhat coarse 250-300 mm staple, yield of 5-9 kg.

 

The Herdwick is great from its colouring but I can't find any history as

yet.

 

Welsh mountain breeds it is claimed discended from tan faced sheep in

southern Britain in the middle ages (although most ms I've seen show white

faces)

 

Orkney & shetland types seen OK after Viking period for Scotland crofters

Other viking descendents are multi horned Hebradian & manx longhorn. So if

you are a viking get a sheep with lots of horns!

 

The Bagot goat can be traced to the 14th C when it was brought to England

by returning Crusaders!

 

Jacob came from middle east via Spain introduced to Britain 16th C as

ornamental sheep.

 

Mel

 

 

Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 02:07:55 -0000

From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar at isholf.is>

Subject: Re: SC - Fat tailed sheep

 

>If anybody else knows more about them including where one might find

>representitives of the breed today, please let me know.

 

North Africa, especially Tunisia, Egypt, many regions in sub-Saharan Africa,

Turkey, most of the Middle East, Arabia, central Asia, Mongolia, western

China, northern India, and several other places. Around 25% of the world’s

sheep are fat-tailed, according to The Oxford Companion to Food. There are

several hundred breeds, and they seem to originate around the 4th millenium

BC.

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Sun, 03 Dec 2000 21:53:17 -0600

From: "Mark S. Harris" <stefan at texas.net>

Subject: SC - Period pig info

 

From "The Year 1000" by Robert Lacey & Danny Danziger:

page 58 -

"Mutton was not a particular delicacy, Wulfstan's memorandum of estate

management described mutton as a food for slaves, and pork seems also

to have been considered routine.

 

The relatively small amounts of fat on all these meats would be viewed

by modern nutritionists with quite a kindly eye. Saturated fat, the

source of cholesterol with its related contemporary health problems,

is a problem of the intensively reared factory-farmed animals of recent

years, with their overabundant "scientific" diets and their lack of

exercise. All Anglo-Saxons would have been shocked at the idea of

ploughing land to produce animal feed. Ploughland was for feeding

humans. So farm animals were lean and rangey, their meat containing

three times as much protein as fat. With modern, intensively reared

animals that ratio is often reversed. 42"

 

That footnote is:

42 Hagen, Second Handbook, p93.

 

The Bibliography has:

Hagen, Anne, A Second Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food and Drink: Production

and Distribution.  Hockwold-cum-Wilson: Anglo-Saxon Books, 1995.

 

This pretty much echos my thoughts on the situation.

 

Ann Hagen has quite a lot to say about Anglo-Saxon pigs and their

raising. I will quote some of her info in another message.

- --

THL Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

Mark S. Harris             Austin, Texas           stefan at texas.net

 

 

Subject: [Stellararts] Re: [medievalanimals] have some sheep.....

Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 08:11:58 -0800 (PST)

From: Marcus Loidolt <mjloidolt at yahoo.com>

To: apprentice at egroups.com, stellararts at egroups.com

 

I thought some of you fiber people might be interested

in this list of sheep breeds. Some of these are quite

rare, but at least they still exist! Think of all

those breeds which 'modern' technology has helped to

eliminate in the interest of uniformity!

 

Johann

 

--- Raven Kaldera <cauldronfarm at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Here's my sheep list thus far. Again, use it as you will. If you find

> inaccuracies eventually, change it. But it's a start. I want to go

> through all the breeds this way if possible and then

> see what turns up for deeper research....

>

> Supposedly Medieval Sheep Breeds (according to their

> breeder societies)

>

> Bergamasca - 15th century Italian

>

> Black Welsh Mountain Sheep - Wales, supposedly Dark Ages

>

> Border Leicester - descended from indigenous Scottish border sheep

>

> Bundner Oberland - Germany, descended from Stone Age Turf Sheep

>

> Cheviot - Scotland, mentioned 1372

>

> Dartmoor -Devon, England, descended from Bronze Age Heath Sheep

>

> Finnsheep - Finland, goes back to 12th century, descended from wild mouflon

>

> Gentile di Puglia - Southern Italy, 15th century

>

> Gute - Gotland, Sweden, primitive in unbroken line, first mentioned 1292

>

> Hebridean or St. Kilda - came w/Viking invaders to Hebrides in 900's

>

> Icelandic - Iceland, brought by Vikings in 900's

>

> Istrian Pramenka - Slovenia and Croatia, medieval times

>

> Jacob - ancient Syria, through medieval Spain, if pure; most are not

>

> Karakul - 13th  century Persia

>

> Manx Loaghtan - Isle of Man, dark ages

>

> Mouflon - ancient unimproved breed, 26 countries have herds, once

> ranged all over Europe

>

> Old Norwegian - Norway, at least 3000 years old

>

> Pommernschaf - medieval Pomerania

>

> Racka - medieval Hungary

>

> Rhoenschaf - Germany, 15th century along the Rhine

>

> Romney - Kent, England; Elizabethan era

>

> Scottish Blackface - 12th century Scotland

>

> Shetland - brought to Shetland Islands by Vikings in 900's

>

> Skudde - medieval East Prussia

>

> Soay - ancient British from Celtic Roman era

>

> Speigel - Germany, 16th century

>

> Steinschaf - Germany, Bavarian Alps, dark ages

>

> Walachenschaf - 13th century Romania

>

> Wiltshire Horn - Tudor England

 

 

Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 07:52:01 -0800 (PST)

From: Marcus Loidolt <mjloidolt at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] PETA and sheep, and of course chickens!!

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Johann von Metten habst schriebten:

There are ancient and medieval breeds of sheep that

are still around and unchanged by modern agriculture,

the Shetlands, Icelandics, San Jacinto, and others

give us a good window into the materials the ancients

had to deal with.

Yes, there are a few breeds of modern sheep that do

not shed their fleece very well, I do believe that all

of them will shed, just not very efficently to

maintain good health.

Goat tastes about as much like shep as it does

antelope or deer, I know that goats and antelope are

closely related, and I suspect to the same degree with

sheep and deer.

 

I will agree that this is probably not the best venue

to discuss PETA and its effects on society, but if you

wish you may take it to

medievalanimals at yahoogroups.com

where I'm sure we will more effectively discuss the

problem.

 

As many of you may know, I raise old breeds of poultry

(Chickens, geese right now. so do some of my

apprentices, were a regular Medieval Ag Consorium!

 

May all your flocks and fields be fruitful in the coming season!

Appreciate your farmers and butchers!

 

Johann von Metten OL

medieval poultrier

 

 

Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 00:02:03 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Lamb (was Re: lent, wine, indulgences, de

        Nola)

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Sheep are the general animal.  Rams are adult males.  Ewes are adult

females. Lambs are young sheep of either sex.  Mutton is the meat of

the sheep.

 

According to the OED, lamb first appears in written English in 725.  That

would make the appearance Old English  (Anglo-Saxon), a derivative of Old

Teutonic. The meaning is "young of the sheep."  A cursory examination of

the OED doesn't show any reference in cooking.

 

Mutton's earliest reference in the OED is 1290 and is in reference to food,

but not in a cookbook.  Since Old French dates from the 9th to the 16th

Century, earlier references are probably in Latin rather than English.

Earliest meaning is "flesh of the sheep, used as food."  The common usage is

"flesh of a mature sheep."  The OED does not precisely define the common

usage in the 13th Century.

 

Sheep are "ruminant animals of the genus Ovis."  The earliest written

appearance in English is 825.  It is Old English derived from Old Teutonic,

where the origin is believed to be prehistoric.

 

I would point out that lamb and sheep are both of Anglo-Saxon derivation,

while mutton is of Norman-French derivation.  The cookbooks we have are

written for noble households and date from after 1100, when Middle English

came into common use.  Middle English is Anglo-Norman and the use of the

word mutton rather than lamb or sheep is probably an artifact of the Norman

French of the ruling class.  It may be that mutton did not have a clearly

defined age implication at that time or it may be that lambs were too

valuable to waste as food.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 10:32:32 -0800 (PST)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re:[Sca-cooks] Lamb (was Re: lent, wine, indulgences, de

        Nola)

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

--- Terry Decker <t.d.decker at worlnet.att.net>

wrote:

> I would point out that lamb and sheep are both

> of Anglo-Saxon derivation,

> while mutton is of Norman-French derivation.

> The cookbooks we have are

> written for noble households and date from

> after 1100, when Middle English

> cme into common use.  Middle English is

> Anglo-Norman and the use of the

> word mutton rather than lamb or sheep is

> probably an artifact of the Norman

> French of the ruling class.  It may be that

> mutton did not have a clearly

> defined age implicatio at that time or it may

> be that lambs were too

> valuable to waste as food.

> Bear

 

According to "The Story of English", this

relationship between Anglo-Saxon and Norman words

shows the class distinctions after the conquest.

 

All the AS words [sheep, cow, pig, deer] show

that the Saxons were the caretakers of the

animals.

 

All the Norman words [mutton, beef, pork, venison]

show that the Normans were the eaters of the

animals.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 12:31:35 -0800 (PST)

From: Honour Horne-Jaruk <jarukcomp at sbcglobal.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sca-cooks Digest, Vol 32, Issue 33

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

>> Supermarket lamb is about six months old at slaughter.

>> Until the 1920s or so, such meat was labeled "young

>> mutton". Lamb was originally  an animal under three

>> months old. At that age, the flavor is so mild that a

>> fat-free piece can't always be identified as lamb in a

>> taste test, even by professional chefs.

> I tend to disagree with you. Although the butcher definitions have changed,

> species are considered juveniles until they reach sexual maturity, which in

> the case of sheep, doesn't occur until 9-11 months.

 

Actually, most domesticated sheep

breeds have begun puberty by the end of their fifth

month; many have completed it. It's standard breeding

age which is 9-11 months.

 

> A 6 month old lamb, then,

> would still be sexually immature, and therefore still a lamb.

 

Unfortunately, you are incorrect on two counts. Aside

from the above, the culinary definition of lamb was an

animal still at least partially nursing; that's never

the case with 6-month-olds.

 

> Wethers would

> have reached sexual maturity (have to be sexually

> mature to be castrated conveniently)

 

Most sheep are castrated at two weeks or less. Even

surgical castration is done at three months.

 

> and are the most frequent sheep on our

> table, since keeping the

> ladies allows one to both have more babies, and

> wool.

 

Wethers have by far the finest wool, since there's no

hormonal problems or pregnancy-induced malnutrition.

By the end of our period, some flocks were

ewe-and-wether only, kept solely for their wool. The

practice became even more common in the 1700s.

 

> Rams, like any other

> intact male, tend to be strong flavored and much

> tougher than ewes- a function of their testosterone.

> Phlip

 

Absolutely. Rank as a tank. Some died "in harness", so

to speak, but others were slaughtered for dog food or

to be sold to the poor.  But nowadays, "lamb" of six

months of age is considered the most cost-effective

compromise between minimum "rankness" and maximum

carcass weight. It's just that lamb recipes in our

period of study were intended for what are now classed

as 'baby' or 'weanling' lamb. (By the way- their

'weanling' was six weeks; ours is up to twelve.)

 

Yours in service to both the Societies of which I am a member-

(Friend) Honour Horne-Jaruk, R.S.F.

Alisond de Brebeuf, C.O.L. S.C.A.- AKA Una the wisewoman, or That Pict

 

 

Date: Sat, 20 May 2006 21:11:12 -0400

From: Patrick Levesque <petruvoda at videotron.ca>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] A few more words on lambs

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Just to add to the amount of date we were gathering on the topic...

 

Olivier de Serre, in "Theatre d'Agriculture et Mesnage des Champs" (1600)

mentions about lamb that they leave their mother around the month of April

(around 4-5 months old - page 319) and are castrated on the month of March

of their second year (around 15-16 months old - page 323).

 

Castration seems the important point indicating whether an animal is young

or more mature. He doesn't mention it for lamb specifically, but things get

interesting in his chapter on veal. Young veals or bulls are to be castrated

at 1 1/2 year of age (les veaux ou taureaux seront parvenus au point d'?tre

ch?tr?s... - p.290) - he subsequently calls these castrated animals "boeufs".

 

So even though there appears to be a certain laxism on terms in period, it

seems that castration is what would differentiate younger farm animals from

the more mature ones.

 

The more so, I'd add, that older animals used for food are generally those

that have given a few good years of hard work, or of wool - they are

fattened in their last summer to be butchered in the fall.

 

Petru

 

 

Date: Sun, 21 May 2006 23:36:36 -0700

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <dailleurs at liripipe.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] A few more words on lambs

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

And I know when I was on the farm, we would have kids hit the ground

from mid Dec on through the summer, depending. When a sheep or goat

cycles is dependant on day length, and proximity to a male, as well as

other things. But they go into season almost year round, at least in my

experience.

 

--Anne-Marie

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 09:13:40 -0400

From: Patrick Levesque <petruvoda at videotron.ca>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] A few more words on lambs

To: "jenne at fiedlerfamily.net,        Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Exactly - For the Languedoc region, at least. De Serres also states that

ewes (is this the right word for female sheep?) could give birth after a 5

month pregnancy, allowing the possibility of a second lamb around 6 months

later (June July).

 

Will get you the exact page number and edition this afternoon.

 

Petru

 

On 22/05/06 01:30, "Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise"

<jenne at fiedlerfamily.net> wrote:

 

>> Olivier de Serre, in "Theatre d'Agriculture et Mesnage des Champs" (1600)

>> mentions about lamb that they leave their mother around the month of April

>> (around 4-5 months old - page 319) and are castrated on the month of March

>> of their second year (around 15-16 months old - page 323).

> Ok, so you are saying that the lambs in that time and place were  

> born in December-January?

> I'm collecting information on period sheepherding for a friend, and it's

> interesting to hear such a radical difference from our modern sheep, who

> give birth in February/March.

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 13:29:23 -0400

From: Patrick Levesque <petruvoda at videotron.ca>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] A few more words on lambs

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

As promised:

 

"Ceux qui ne tirent de leur brebis qu'une ventree chacun an, leur donnent le

belier environ la mi-Juillet; afin d'aigneler dans le mois de Decembre, leur

portee estant de cinq mois. Mais pour avoir deux aigneaux en mesme annee,

serons empreigner nos brebis dans les mois d'Avril & d'Octobre, dont

naistront les aigneaux en Septembre & Fevrier."

 

From "Le Theatre d'Agriculture et mesnage des champs, par Olivier de Serres,

seigneur du Pradel." Paris, 1600. P. 318. I do believe it's the first

edition, I'm unaware if it was subsequently reprinted, and how many times it

would have been.

 

"Those who only get out of their ewe's only one pregnancy each year, bring

the ram to them around mid-July, so that they give birth in December, their

pregnancy being around 5 months. But to have two lambs in the same year, our

ewes will be impregnated in the months of April and October, and the lambs

born in September and February. "

 

(I'm not familiar with breeding terms in English, so the translation may

sound a bit unusual - don't hesitate to correct the language if  

necessary).

 

On 22/05/06 09:13, "Patrick Levesque" <petruvoda at videotron.ca> wrote:

 

> Exactly - For the Languedoc region, at least. De Serres also states that ewes

> (is this the right word for female sheep?) could give birth after a 5 month

> pregnancy, allowing the possibility of a second lamb around 6  

> months later (June July).

> Will get you the exact page number and edition this afternoon.

> Petru

 

 

Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2011 09:56:13 -0600 (CST)

From: "Pixel, Goddess and Queen" <pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] suet Vs. fat

 

On Wed, 2 Feb 2011, V O wrote:

<<< A friend of mine who has done some research into this mentioned in a discussion we had about middle eastern cooking, that this breed of sheep (fat tail) mentioned in this type of cooking is no longer around.? So, would it be the same from a modern breed of sheep?? Does anybody know if that breed 'is" still around, or would it be just something available in the country or local area where they still are??

 

Mirianna >>>

 

We had this discussion almost exactly a year ago--there are several breeds of fat-tail sheep still around. From Phlip's post on the topic:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat-tailed_sheep

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karakul_(sheep)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awassi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackhead_Persian

http://www.sheep101.info/sheeptypes.html

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/heritage_breeds/65309/2

 

And from Urtatim's post:

 

"There are quite a number of fat tailed/fat rumped sheep breeds, which

appear to have originated in Central Asia. Some of them have tails

that when dressed (!!) weigh 5 lbs. Here are photos of a few

displaying their fat tails (or rumps) There are many other fat-tail

breeds besides these:

 

the Altay

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/altay/index.htm

 

the Balkhi

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/balkhi/index.htm

 

the Baluchi

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/baluchi/index.htm

 

the Hasht Nagri

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/hashtnagri/index.htm

 

the Moghani

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/moghani/index.htm

 

the Ujumqin, a Mongolian

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/ujumqin/index.htm

 

the Waziri

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/waziri/index.htm

 

The Han, one of the most extreme

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/han/index.htm

(note that while it is in "China", the region is one of

Turkic/Central Asian culture):"

 

Margaret FitzWilliam

 

<the end>



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