Monday, November 3, 2008

Butchering Day


So today's the day. We are butchering Hana, our Highland cow. I bought her for Tom as a combination housewarming and birthday present after we bought our farm. She has produced many great calves for us but is getting difficult for us to manage. She knocks down barb wire and fencing with ease. Electricity doesn't faze her, and she can jump fences surprisingly easily for her bulk. She also eats a LOT. We have her better behaved daughter Dana to breed with so Hana will become meat. It's, of course, bittersweet. Hana's antic are good for stories, and she was our first cow as well as a sentimental present. But reality and common sense needs to take precedence. I am going to stay clear of the house, and poor Tom has to catch Hana and drag her to the butcher truck.

The more difficult decision for me is to have some sheep butchered for the first time. I am a vegetarian, and Tom doesn't like lamb or mutton so there has been a reason to butcher until now. We have too many sheep and especially rams. I was considering having four butchered, but it looks like I found a good home for Monty as a black breeding ram. This is much better since he will make nice lambs. And it looks like I talked Tom into keeping Hazelnut, our yearling wether. I sheared these four sheep in preparation for the butcher's visit on Saturday and just love his fleece. He's a wild sheep but otherwise not a problem (not like rams are) so he gets a reprieve. That leaves Mortimer and Comet. They are both grey, cryptorchid rams. They have very nice fleeces but can't be used for breeding and have ram behavior. I really don't need ram companions so there's no reason to put up with ram behavior just for their fleeces. So again reality and common sense need to preside.

4 comments:

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

In light of what is about to happen, that last photo of the three with heads together is rather painful to look at!

Donna said...

Agreed-I thought they looked regal too and were blissfully ignorant about what was about to happen. At least this way I had control about how they were treated unlike selling for meat or using an auction so at least I feel better (not sure about them). Tom said it was quick, painless, and there was no fear. They didn't even have to catch or move them first. Even Monty showed no fear in the same pen at the same time.

Dave said...

Hope everything worked out okay, I know how busy it can be.

Donna said...

Everything went just fine- thank you. Tom's tired but the job is done.

Shaun the Sheep "Off the Baa"

Shaun the Sheep clip "Save the Tree"