Why is lamb so expensive?

Why is lamb so expensive?

Nowadays people eat different types of meat according to their choices. Lamb, pork, beef, and chicken are some common examples. There are various reasons such as availability, convenience, nutritional value, economy, and price behind the above choices. Here, we are going to mainly consider lamb. When considering lamb, there is a common question among people about lamb. Why is lamb so expensive? Let’s find the reason behind this.


Lamb is a live sheep under the age of a year, as well as the flesh of such an animal. Mutton is the meat of a mature ram or ewe that is at least one year old; yearling mutton is the meat of sheep that are between 12 and 20 months old. Baby lamb is the meat of sheep aged 6 to 10 weeks, while spring lamb is the flesh of lambs aged 5 to 6 months. Lamb has a mild flavor that most Western countries like, whereas mutton has a deeper flavor that many Middle and Far Eastern countries prefer. The flavor of milk-fed lamb is particularly delicate. As the animal gets older, the color of the lean deepens. 

It varies in color from light to dark pink in lamb, medium pink to light red in yearling mutton, and light to dark red in mutton. In older sheep, the fat, which is delicate and creamy white to pale pink in lambs, hardens and whitens. Bones harden and whiten as well, becoming porous in yearlings and extremely hard in adults. The carcass can be separated into leg, loin, shoulder, breast, and shank in the United States. It can be cut straight across into saddles or it can be cut into leg, loin, shoulder, breast, and shank. The exterior fat coating of cuts can be removed. Prime, choice, good, utility, and cull are the quality grades for lamb in the United States.

When considering various types of meat, there are various prices for them. Lamb is one of the meat types and it is one of the most expensive cuts of meat. Let’s find the reasons behind this. 

Why is lamb so expensive?

Lamb is one of the healthiest meats you can buy because it is normally farmed in the wild or on family farms rather than in industrial farms. Also, lamb is a fairly small farm/family farm-friendly livestock that is easily farmed in the United States. Lamb has a flavor that some people appreciate, while others find it difficult to chew. Lamb meat is more expensive per pound than pork, beef, and other meats. Sheep are more expensive per pound than pigs or bulls, owing to their smaller size. Now, let’s consider the reasons for the higher cost of lamb.

Nutrition facts 

When looking for meat, people mainly consider the healthiness of meat. They’re looking for something lean that will nourish them without being too fattening. Lamb is a good solution for this. Also, lamb is one of the available leaner meats. 

You’ll get more than 20 grams of protein from a normal piece of lamb meat that’s about three ounces in size. When considering the size, this is a good amount of protein.

Also, there is iron, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B 12. 

If you prepare lamb properly, it may be a very healthful meal. When you start adding butter and oils to the lamb, it loses some of its beneficial properties and gains extra fat that you probably didn’t need. So, be careful when preparing meat.

Lamb is normally farmed in the wild or on family farms rather than in industrial farms

As I mentioned before, lamb is not normally farmed in industrial farms. When considering the United States, factory-farmed meat accounts for a significant amount of the meat consumed. 

But, a factory setting is not suitable for the growth of lambs. They will become easily stressed, which will lead them to grow at a slow rate. Also, when lambs are raised in this type of environment, they will become sick. As a result, this type of meat is likely to be infected, and it may be less expensive to buy and sell.

So, most lamb is farmed in the wild or on family farms. This is beneficial to both the animal and, in the end, the consumer, as the price will be significantly greater. Also, they have a better flavor. 

Cost of the live lamb

Why is lamb so expensive? Another reason that lamb meat is more expensive than many other types of meat in the grocery store is that lamb is more expensive per pound than other animals.

Less total meat per animal

When considering lamb, it has one of the lowest yields of any meat we eat on a regular basis. The carcass output is smaller than most other meat animals, and there is less overall meat per animal butchered. Lambs aren’t as big as cows, and they don’t have as many parts to deal with as a pig.

When a farmer raises a lamb for meat and sells it, they will need to sell a lot of lambs to make more money when comparing other animals. If a farmer supplies a large amount of lamb to the market, he needs a large amount of sheep. This is a difficult situation. So, this is another reason for the higher price.

Lambs are older than other meat animals

When it comes to selling weight, lambs must be a little older than other animals. So, farmers will need to care for a lamb very much before selling. 

Here are some common meat-producing species and the ages at which they achieve market weight:

  • Broilers (Meat chicken)  46 days
  • Pigs  5-6 months
  • Goats  4-6 months
  • Cattle 14-18 months 

Only cattle are older than lambs when they reach market weight among the meat animals on this list. Farmers have to feed them, maintain the land, and consider animal health and shelter.  

So, farmers have to spend a lot of money on a large number of lambs. After almost a year of holding on to a lamb, a farmer must sell it for a significant amount of price in order to be profitable. 

When it comes to weight, lambs have a pretty modest yield. If a farmer sells a lamb before it has reached full maturity, the production will be much smaller. Younger lambs will have a very low yield, making selling and butchering these animals unprofitable. So, farmers have to spend a lot of money and it will be added to the final product.


Live sheep will be sold to a dealer, who will then find a butcher interested in buying them. The butcher must now take the lamb and chop it into the appropriate pieces in order to sell it to the final customers. This is a long process and only a butcher would know how to prepare the lamb for resale in the appropriate way. This is another reason. 

Profit for the farmers

Lamb has to pass through different people such as dealers and butchers before it is made to customers. If there are more people involved, the higher the price for the end-user. 

Profit for the butcher 

Why is lamb so expensive? When considering the butcher, he will next discover that around half of the lamb is meat. The meat will next need to be trimmed down even more so that the parts may be cut up for sale to customers.

The butcher will then lose another portion of the meat they paid for at this stage.

Carcass yields of common animals are,

  • 50% lambs and goats
  • 60% beef cattle
  • 65% pigs
  • 70% broilers 

Essentially, this means they’ll have to settle for the gap in profit margins.

Transportation cost 

The majority of the lambs are sold as live lambs. They must then be taken to the butcher after the dealer sells them. So, this process involves some transport and delivery and it will be added to the customer’s price. 

If a lamb is being transported while still alive, it will require a large amount of space and a special animal hauler. Also, when a lamb is killed and shipped, it must be transported in a refrigerated vehicle. 

Lamb meat is kept entirely fresh as it moves between several stops in the production process with specialized transportation. Lamb meat, for example, is held at certain temperatures for transportation between the slaughterhouse and the butcher to maintain its quality.

Then the price will be increased and this is going to add to the final product. 

Luxury meat

Lamb is considered a luxury cut of meat. Lamb is frequently saved for special occasions. People are aware that lamb must be prepared in a specific manner, and that it is typically served as part of a high-end sit-down dinner. Lamb will almost certainly be on the menu in a high-end restaurant.

Lamb is frequently more expensive than other lower-cost meats like chicken since it has been promoted as a luxury food.

Less plentiful 

Beef and chicken are the most popular meats in the United States. In America, there are simply fewer sheep than in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.


Why is lamb so expensive? According to this article, now you know many reasons such as nutrition facts, farming practices, butchering, total meat per animal, profit for farmer and butcher, and many facts. Also, there is some other important information about lamb here. I hope now you can easily understand the situation behind the higher price. 

Not only lamb but also there are many meat types around the world. So, stay with us to know those food facts and consider following us on Facebook and Instagram

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