Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Our first Home Butchering experience

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Our First On Farm Butchering Experience

(Warning: This post contains graphic details and images of butchering.)

Well, it has finally happen, our first experience in producing our own meat on the farm!
I always knew this day would arrive, but I wasn't to sure how I was going to cope with it. It is a very satisfying and joyful experiencing to be pulling veggies out of the garden and cooking beautiful country meals with them, but actually getting your own farm animal butchered for the purpose of eating him/her, is a totally different story.

If we want to enjoy a balanced diet on the farm and live self-sufficient, it is necessary for us to produce our own protein to provide for our family.

Jackson's first day on the farm May 2014
In the process leading up to the day of butchering, we have been very specific on how we want it to be done and by who. We wanted the process to be stress-free for the animal and the other cows (and for us as well ;-))
We also chose to exclusively grass feed our cows and not use grain feeding to fatten up the cow before butchering. It is important to us to raise our animals in the most organic and natural way possible. 
In our decision making process on which animal we should chose, we always knew that the young lowline Angus Bull was going to be our first choice. 
Jackson (middle) November 2014

After doing some research we chose an incredible 'On-Farm' Butcher that kills, butchers and processes the meat all on your property, which to us was an amazing concept. We chose a company called  'Wilson's On Farm Butchering'. 

He killed our bull in a very quick, stress-free way that also minimised stress on the other cows around.  The butcher then skinned and gutted the animal. As part of the job, he had a trailer with him which is a mobile cold room. This was placed beside the house with easy power access. The carcass was then hung in the cold room trailer for several days.

After this process was completed, the butcher returned very early one morning with a special truck and processed the meat on site. 
We were able to fill out a form of what cuts we wanted and got exactly what we asked for.  We decided to half the meat and split the cost with my parents in law. Because the bull was a small animal it just filled our large 5 drawer freezer.

Amy watching the Butcher from our rain water tank

Processing the meat

I have been completely new to the process of raising your own cows with the purpose of either selling or eating. I only have been used to having pets, so this was an entire new concept for me. It did take me a while to get used to this idea.
What really has helped is that I know what I am eating, when we enjoy our own farm-raised beef. We know the life that it has had, we know what he has eaten, and we know that he has had a good life. Knowing what we put in our mouths as a family is one of the big motivations we have in living a self-sufficient life. 

And again, we are one little step closer to achieving this dream, and living a real sustainable, organic lifestyle on our beautiful little farm :-)

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