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types and cuts of lamb

Several other terms are commonly used to refer to lambs, and they too have specific definitions that depend on the age of the sheep. Baby lamb is from a milk-fed lamb between the ages of six and eight weeks, and spring lamb is between three to five months old and born in the early spring. Spring lamb is generally sold by July 1. A Yearling lamb is one between 12 and 24 months, and Milk-fed lamb, which is generally not available in the US, refers to a lamb between 4 to 6 weeks. Milk-fed lamb is generally used in traditional Easter feasts in Greece, during which the meat is roasted on a spit.

Lamb from sheep less than a year is tenderer than the meat from older sheep thanks to less and softer connective tissue, and is generally divided into three different cuts of meat. The hindquarter includes cuts from the hips and rear legs, the forequarter section is the neck, shoulder, ribs to the shoulder blade, and the front legs, and the loin is the rib meat between the two.

Typical of most mammals, cuts from the forequarter, like the shoulder cuts, contain more connective tissue than cuts from either the loin or the hindquarter, so they are more appropriately cooked slowly, such as in a stew, roasted or barbecued.

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lamb cuts