Following the declaration of the day for the most significant Islamic festival, Eid-al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, there have been an influx of livestock in the markets, as they are usually bought for the celebration of the season. The sizes of these sacrificial rams and cows range from small, to average and big. Before buying your Eid al-Adha ram or sacrificial ram, there are several factors to consider to ensure you select a healthy and suitable animal, for the occasion; no matter the size you are going for depending on your budget and pocket.
- Health and vigour: Examine the ram for signs of good health, such as bright and clear eyes, clean nostrils, and a shiny coat. The ram should appear alert, active, and have a strong overall body condition.
- Age and size: Consider the age and size of the ram. Generally, younger rams are more tender while older rams tend to have more flavour, according to popular opinion. However, choose a size that fits your budget and that is suitable for your needs and the number of people you’ll be serving.
- Weight: Check the weight of the ram. It should meet the requirements specified by your religious or cultural practices. It’s important to ensure that the ram is neither underweight nor overweight.
- Teeth: Inspect the ram’s teeth. Younger animals will have milk teeth while older ones will have permanent teeth. Avoid animals with missing or excessively worn teeth, as it may indicate age-related issues.
- Hooves and legs: Examine the hooves and legs for signs of soundness. They should be free from any deformities, swelling, or signs of lameness. The ram should stand and walk with ease.
- Attitude and temperament: Observe the ram’s behaviour. It should exhibit a calm and gentle demeanour without displaying excessive aggression or fear. Aggressive or overly timid animals may pose handling challenges.
- Source and traceability: If possible, buy your ram from a reputable and trustworthy source. Ensure that the animal has been properly cared for, handled, and is free from any diseases or infections. Traceability is important for food safety and quality assurance.
- Price and negotiation: Compare prices from different sellers to get an idea of the prevailing market rates. Be prepared to negotiate the price, but ensure that you are not compromising on quality or health standards.
9. Transport and slaughter: Make arrangements for safe and humane transportation of the ram to the slaughterhouse or designated location. Ensure that the slaughter process adheres to your religious or cultural requirements.