Fifty scampering lambs as births continue at farm in Oketo
Fifty lambs have been born on Tanaka Makoto’s dairy farm in the town of Oketo in the Okhotsk region of eastern Hokkaido. The lambs scamper around inside the barn with a liveliness reminiscent of a sports day.
The lambs, which were born between early February and early March, are of the texel variety bred for their meat, and the farm rears approximately 150 of them.
The meat of sheep is categorized as lamb within a year of birth; hogget over one year but less than two years after birth; and mutton when the sheep is two years old or over. However, Tanaka will ship the meat as hogget. Because the sheep are reared longer than lambs, it costs more but “lamb is too tender and mutton is too tough, so hogget is a good balance of the two”.
Most of the meat from sheep consumed in Japan is produced overseas. Tanaka wants “to increase the number of Hokkaido sheep,” and sells them to new farmers at reduced prices.
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