One of the oldest breeds developed in the United States, Tunis sheep are the centerpiece of our gourmet grass-fed lamb operation. The Tunis is a heritage breed that is well-acclimated to the South and has been recognized for its outstanding flavor.
Tunis sheep are an excellent dual-purpose breed characterized by cream-colored wool and red faces. Their ancestors originated in Tunisia--hence the name--and were first imported to the United States in 1799. The resulting breed soon garnered recognition from prominent American agricultural figures such as George Washington Custis, James A. Guillams, and Judge Richard Peters.
In the 1800s, Tunis sheep were quite popular in Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland for both their meat and wool, but declined in popularity when the majority of the Southern flocks were destroyed during the Civil War. Tunis sheep are currently on the "watch" list of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, and one of our goals in raising this breed is to assist in its conservation.
Then and now, Tunis sheep were known for the fine flavor of their meat--in fact, the Slow Food USA "Ark of Taste" lists the Tunis for both its delicious taste and its important heritage. The breed also earned second place in a recent blind tasting given for over 90 chefs, food writers, and connoisseurs at an ALBC/Slow Food USA "Legacy of Lamb" event in Virginia.
Grass-fed lamb not only tastes better than grain-fed meat, but it's also more nutritious, being higher in omega-3 fatty acids (one of the most essential nutrients for humans), vitamins C and E, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). Grass-fed is also better for the sheep themselves. Sheep are ruminants, so their digestive systems were designed to efficiently convert plant-based forages into protein and fat. A grain-based diet disrupts the careful balance of a ruminant's digestive system and inevitably results in health problems that are then treated with synthetic medications and antibiotics. And that's not to mention the poor quality and GMO-contamination of the corn and soybeans that compose most commercial grain feed. As the old saying goes, "You are what you eat..." That's why our lambs are never fed grain and are on pasture year-round.
We maintain a closed flock, so all of the lambs we sell were born and bred on our farm. We select for parasite resistance, conformation, and overall health in our meat lambs and breeding stock. Our goal is to breed healthy and resilient animals that thrive on pasture with little to no intervention outside of routine management like shearing and hoof-trimming. We never use synthetic medications, and if absolutely necessary, only treat the sheep with holistic, natural medicines such as copper oxide wire particles, herbal tinctures, and homeopathic remedies. So you can be confident your lamb has enjoyed the highest quality of life, feed, and care before processing.
We sell our grass-fed lamb by the whole lamb only, cut to customer specifications and priced by hanging weight. We process lambs in the spring and fall. The lead time for a lamb is approximately 4-6 weeks from the time we receive your order to the time the meat is ready for you to pick up at the farm. Our lamb is processed at a local, SCDA-approved facility and cannot be delivered or shipped across state lines. For more information or for current availability, please send your inquiry to email@example.com with the subject line "Grass-Fed Lamb".
We are currently in the process of developing a cookbook with at least two recipes for each of the standard cuts that makes up a whole lamb. Until then, several of our favorite recipes can be found in the Recipe section of our website.
On the Menu
In addition to on-farm sales, you can find our grass-fed lamb on the menu at Terra Restaurant in West Columbia.