The An Gàrradh Mòr flock of Hebridean sheep
Hebridean Hogget Lamb – The ultimate, naturally slow food
A hogget is a sheep more than one year but less than two years old. After it’s been sheared for the first time – usually in the late spring of the year after it was born, it will also be referred to as a shearling lamb. The meat of the hogget is commonly referred to as hogget lamb.
Modern-day commercial practice is to send lambs to the abattoir once they reach a live weight of about 40kg – typically when it is about four to five months old. That’s how to maximize profits – but not flavour.
We follow the much older practice – more common among smallholders, crofters, homesteaders, keeping the lambs through the winter, to gain weight and flavour through the following summer, killing them in the autumn as the grass becomes scarce.
Our black, pure-breed Hebridean sheep thrive year-round on the natural, diverse vegetation of our croft and the common hill grazings in Eriskay. The slow-maturing hogget lambs enjoy two full summers of good living. Their meat is low in fat and cholesterol and has extraordinary depth of colour and flavour. This meat demands respect! Cook low. Cook Slow. Take time to enjoy!
Our Hebridean Hogget Lamb is geotraceable, grass-fed, free of hormones and antibiotics – 100% natural.
The meat is sold on the bone, vacuum-packed, frozen, and available only at The Big Garden.
Cuts and prices – valid until end of November 2018
|Joint / Cut (on bone)||Pack Size||Price £ / kg||Typical cost|
|Loin chop||Pack of 4 to 6||£24.00||£5 – £10|
|Chops / Cutlets||Pack of 4 to 6||£20.00||£4 – £10|
|Whole Leg||One||£16.00||£25 – £45|
|(Half) Leg||One||£20.00||£20 – £30|
|Leg Shank||Pack of 2||£12.00||£3 – £5|
|Whole Shoulder||One||£12.00||£16 – £20|
|Square-cut Shoulder||One||£16.00||£14 – £18|
|Shoulder/Fore Shank||Pack of 2||£10.00||£5 – £6|
|Neck||Pack of 2 halves||£10.00||£5 – £7|
|Liver||Varied cuts||£12.00||£4 – £6|
|Kidney||Pack of 4 or 6||£16.00||£2 – £3|
Enquiries, Orders, Collection, Delivery
Call in at The Big Garden, and we can show you the selection currently available.
For purchases of £10 or more, we offer complimentary fresh-cut Rosemary from the greenhouse, or alternatively your choice other herbs from the garden, according to season and availability.
Visitors to the islands may find it helpful for us to keep their purchase in our freezers for them to collect shortly before they leave Uist. We may be able to deliver to addresses between Askernish and Eriskay – please enquire.
To enquire, call us on 01878 700828, or use this form –
Livestock for Sale
Foss Scott demonstrates good conformation to breed standard.
He has proven his abilities, siring 1.6 lambs per ewe over two years, average 12 ewes.
Scott is mostly kept in field with younger rams : he maintains his status over the others by force of personality, backed up if necessary by sideways shoves at the feed trough!
With humans, he’s aware that he’s not the boss. Accustomed to being handled, he’s easy to manage, and is particularly friendly with whoever brings him food! He will come to and follow a bucket, and eat from the hand. He loves to be rubbed behind his ears.
Situated – Bun a Mhullin, Isle of Eriskay.
Price negotiable. Will deliver to buyer in Uist, free of charge ; to elsewhere, if required, by agreement.
Most recent post under blog category Hebridean Sheep
Back in late Spring, we sold our much-loved Hebridean ram. Scott had done as much for the An Gàrradh Mòr flock as he could : it was time for him to move on, quite literally! – to pastures new. But he’s only a mile and a half away, at Smeircleit, where a young(er-than-us) couple, Richard and Mel, are getting started in the crofting life – including establishing their own registered flock of Hebridean sheep.
However, until Scott is put in with the ewes bought from another Uist breeder, he needs to be kept separately, to avoid untimely pregnancies. It’s not good to keep a ram – or indeed any animal, in our view – on its own, without others of its kind ; but a ram without company can become extremely agitated, and may turn to agressive, destructive, or even self-harming behaviours. Ideally, under these circumstances, he’d have one or more wedders (castrated males) for company, but with none available for that purpose, we offered the loan of one our shearling rams (those just over a year old – and recently sheared for the first time) – in fact the smallest and therefore most submissive ram in the flock – as companion. The littl’un can stay there until November, when Scott will go to the ewes, and the littl’un will be sent ‘to Lochmaddy’ – with our other hogget lambs.
Scott has been much more settled with the littl’un than he was on his own, and the littl’un himself seems to have flourished, promoted to 2nd rank, behind only Scott himself : back at our own croft, he would be at the back of the queue behind Scott and four others.
He’s grown enormously – he’s now nearly as big as Scott, though he seems careful to avoid body language that might suggest a challenge to Scott’s primacy. He keeps a safe distance from Scott, and yet is never more than a few metres from him : they need each other.
Denise and I pass the field where the two boys are kept on our way to the Co-op in Daliburgh or to Eight Askernish, and from time to time we’ve stopped by to see how they’re getting on – though strictly it’s now just the littl’un that’s our concern. Richard and Mel look in on them both each day.
But then came an email from Richard. The littl’un had lost one of his horns. Or rather, most of his left horn had broken off. He seems to have got the horn entangled in the bars of the gate, and for some reason panicked, and in the struggle to get free had broken the horn – a few inches from its base. He’d certainly lost some blood – and no doubt it had been painful, but by the time we got to him, the blood had congealed and he seemed to have adjusted to the lopsided weights either side of his head!
The littl’un has always been destined for the abattoir and the freezer, but that’s not to say that we wouldn’t rather that he enjoyed the best possible life until then. I’m glad that neither Denise or I found him with the horn broken off and the stump bleeding!