Lamb is not only a popular meat in the United States but still well-loved throughout the world. For millennia, humans have raised lamb to be eaten as food and, although the process has changed since then, Superior Farms reports that you can still find trace similarities to the ancient practices.
Let’s explore how sheep were first domesticated for food and how the practice of raising lamb for meat has changed in recent years. Thanks to better technologies and a focus on animal welfare, the lamb industry has become sustainable and more reliable.
The Origins of Raising Lamb for Food
Lamb has been raised for food for millennia. In fact, it is one of the oldest domesticated animals in the world. Sheep were first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East over 10,000 years ago and, from there, spread to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Lamb continued to play an important part in many ancient diets and, even in the Bible, lambs were sacrificed for religious purposes.
Although it’s difficult to say exactly how early man domesticated sheep, it’s believed that the first lamb came from Central Asian wild sheep. Over several generations, herders were able to slowly turn the animal into a simple domesticated farm animal.
How Lamb Rearing Has Changed Over the Years
Originally, sheep were bred and herded in small flocks by a shepherd and his dog. If they wanted to raise lamb for food, the shepherd would allow a few of the sheep to breed and have lambs each year. They would then care for the lambs until they were old enough to be sold or harvested for meat.
As decades passed, farmers and manufacturers alike began to prioritize better care for the flock and the land they graze. Sheep producers realized that if they help take care of the environment, it’ll take care of them. And now, with the advantages of genetic testing and electronic identification tags, these producers can monitor the specific traits in each animal in order to improve the overall health of their flocks.
Sustainable Farming Today
Superior Farms has partnered with sheep producers from six different states to create a new technologically advanced project, The Sheep Discovery Center: one of the country’s most sustainable agriculture centers. This state-of-the-art Center in Utah, creates a method of lamb production that prioritizes animal health and wellbeing, reduced environmental footprint and blockchain technology, to discover the full potential of each sheep by meeting their needs at every phase in the animals’ lives. The Sheep Discovery Center also implements cutting-edge technologies and production practices, including advanced sustainability methods, seasonal lighting, optimized nutrition, and efficient flock viability.