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Raw feeding **butchering** question


juliepoudrier
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For those of you who have animals butchered to feed to your dogs, is there any part of the animal you don't use? It occurred to me that for the dogs I don't really need to pay a butcher to do the processing--we can do it here ourselves. When I have taken sheep to the butcher, it's been very *inconsistent* what I get back in the way of organs, etc., so this will be one way of solving that. Also, for my older cull sheep, I'll just feel better knowing that they don't have to go through the stress of being taken to the butcher and all that entails. So, if we're butchering ourselves, what shouldn't we keep? (FYI--I really don't like the idea of feeding heads, and at least for the karakuls I'm not sure if they qualify as "black faced sheep" so to avoid any concerns about scrapie I probably won't be using the heads.) Thanks!

 

J.

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You're really lucky to be able to do that, Julie! You'll be able to use more than what you'd probably get from a processor, who by law must discard parts not labeled for human consumption. (This may vary by state, though.) I don't think there are any lamb/sheep parts I wouldn't feed to my dogs, though the head grosses me out, too.

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You're really lucky to be able to do that, Julie! You'll be able to use more than what you'd probably get from a processor, who by law must discard parts not labeled for human consumption. (This may vary by state, though.) I don't think there are any lamb/sheep parts I wouldn't feed to my dogs, though the head grosses me out, too.

Yep, I assumed that the reason I wasn't always getting all the parts I asked for was because they couldn't give them to me (though I've had some really interesting explanations for why some parts are there and some not). Since Jimmy regularly butchers the deer he kills (for human consumption!), I see no reason why we can't do the sheep for the dogs ourselves and get all the parts we want.

 

J.

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Julie can you get your sheep gene tested for scrapie resistance? If they are RR then you don't have to worry about any of that. It would probably be a good thing for your breeding program as well.

 

Depending on your region, and your parasite control program, I would be hesitant to feed old sheep liver and kidneys. If you old animals are relatively clean, no problem. Tripe is a similar issue. After that its simply a matter of what size and type of bones you feel your dogs can handle. The guard dogs are my "odds n ends" cleaner-uppers. I would suggest the head for them - you don't have to look at it, and it will be an excellent source of 2 days woth of meals (and lets face it, LGDs eat everything, the idea of protecting them for this and that is laughable. I've had the darn things did up 10 day old carcasses to eat and 3 month old dehydrated whole possum from the haybarn is a treat.)

 

I don't usually feed hides - I know they can eat it in the wild but I don't care to deal with it.

 

Wendy V is really good at home slaughter for raw feeding. I haven't seen her on here in a while - but I bet you can contact her on the side or via private email.

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Yep, I assumed that the reason I wasn't always getting all the parts I asked for was because they couldn't give them to me (though I've had some really interesting explanations for why some parts are there and some not). Since Jimmy regularly butchers the deer he kills (for human consumption!), I see no reason why we can't do the sheep for the dogs ourselves and get all the parts we want.

 

J.

 

 

A friend and I butchered a cull ewe for the dogs this spring. She had injured her leg and it wasn't healing. I didn't think I could take her to the butcher like that. We didn't really know what we were doing. We watched youtube videos on deer processing and did just fine, so I don't think you would have any trouble at all. I kept the heart, kidneys, and liver. I wasn't comfortable keeping anything else since I wasn't 100% sure it was safe.

 

Emily

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Julie,

 

I can't say that the reason you don't get the organs back is due to disease, cyst or anything like that or just plain ole screw ups. I am sure Jimmy can tell if there is something wrong with the organs. I would would just leave it up to his discretion.

 

Tell him I said hey.

 

Walt

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Wendy V is really good at home slaughter for raw feeding.

 

Ha! Not good, just enthusiastic! I keep the heart, liver, kidneys, and toss the hide, head, and entrails, due to sqeemishness alone. I haven't quite worked up the nerve to feed a whole carcass at once. Don't think the neighbors would appreciate it. :rolleyes:

 

Depending upon the age of the ewe (or deer, for that matter), I may exclude the spine because it can be very boney and may crack teeth. I remove chucks of meat from the legs for a later meal and give the remaining whole legs for the boys to clean up. Once cleaned up, I then toss them due to past teeth breakage on weight bearing bones. If it is a cull lamb (just weaned), then the entire leg can be eaten whole. The organs can be frozen and fed later if concerned about worms.

 

A meat saw may be helpful, but I use a very old 2ft long heavy meat cleaver for most of the bone separation work. I use the razor blade type of dressing knife (with replaceable blades), as the sheep hide dulls the regular steel hunting knife (making my DH non too happy as he attempts to field dress a deer). Most of my butchery is done with the animal laying on a tarp on the ground, as it is illegal to perform this in my neighborhood. Hanging the animal makes things much easier!

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This is a little OT (sorry Julie!), but is it okay to feed the breast bone of a big duck? I got a couple of whole ducks recently, and the breast bone seems kind of wide and splintery, and even though I know it's probably well soft enough, I'd love to hear confirmation that it's okay to feed it to my dogs...

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Wendy,

I have the best image in my mind now of you crouched down on a bloody tarp with your giant meat cleaver secretly dismembering animals.... :rolleyes:

 

I had no plans to feed spinal cords because of the whole TSE issue (I still don't understand how people can buy oxtails--isn't there spinal cord in there???), but was planning to feed as much of the innards as I can get away with. Less to dispose of otherwise. And if I time it right (for fleece growth) and skin it properly, then I can send hides off for tanning and perhaps make money off the skins. That money can go back into buying other goodies for the dogs....

 

I think Jimmy and Josh hung the last deer in the garage over a kiddie pool and did it that way, but I wasn't watching so I couldn't say for sure.

 

Walt,

I'm sure I can just stand there and do my own inspection of organs as well. And if freezing will take care of parasites, then I'll be okay.

 

J.

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I know DH used to get a lot of cow innards from butchers when he had sled dogs. We've talked about it a few times for Molly but it is too much for just one dog. From what I understood, it includes all the intestinal parts not taken for sausage. He'd cut it up and freeze it for the sled dogs. We'd need another freezer if we even thought about it, so it's beyond our budget right now.

 

We also have dog treats (called kallun over here) that are made from dried pieces of lung and intestine. It stinks but Molly loves it.

 

I'm also 99% certain that when I was a kid we also got spleen back from the butcher. But I dunno about raw feeding it. My mom used to cook all the organs we got back with a bunch of oatmeal and other stuff to feed to the outside cats.

 

I don't know if any of that helps, but good luck with the butcher and feeding! It's great you can do it to save some sheep from the stress and to get the optimal use out of the animal. I feel like it shows more respect for life to use everything possible.

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Wendy,

I have the best image in my mind now of you crouched down on a bloody tarp with your giant meat cleaver secretly dismembering animals....

 

That kinda of sums it up. I've learned to be quite efficient at it. Funny how it is illegal to PROCESS FOOD at home. People have become too removed from the food chain. IMO, all meat eaters should learn to butcher.

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For those of you who have animals butchered to feed to your dogs, is there any part of the animal you don't use? It occurred to me that for the dogs I don't really need to pay a butcher to do the processing--we can do it here ourselves.

J.

 

Julie, when i've done it here, generally I find that I gut the animal, leave that and work on hauling the animal into the air so it can sit overnight which makes pulling off the hide so much easier. Generally the dogs have their feast on what i've left of the entrails and I package up what they leave of that except the stomach/intestines which they seem to avoid (although they've happily eaten this part of the chickens). I've generally not fed the stomach and intestines because (1) i don't want to deal with the mess and (2) i can't stand the smell!

I allow the dogs to knaw on the head for a while because i find i tend to leave a fair amount of meat along the base of the skull for them to chew for a while. I've never allowed them to chew it enough to get into the brain. And i don't allow them to knaw on the hide. They've done this before and barfed up a wad of skin and fur in the house later so all in all, i'd like to avoid a repeat of that!

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Julie - You are making me remember the time Lisa and I came home from a day out to find the tractor in the back yard with the remains of a cow hanging off the front end loader, and my kitchen looking like a battle zone, with huge hunks of dead cow on every surface imaginable.

 

The cow had prolapsed badly, we couldn't get anyone out to see if anything could be done (and he thought she was too far damaged for that). Her heifer calf, cleverly named "Baby Cow", is still with us at 15 years of age, having produced another lovely calf this year. I never realized cows could go gray like she is doing. She will be permanently "retired" this fall. Life will be getting uncomfortable for her.

 

Not too many months ago, Ed cut a young bull who was a late calf from last year and so had not been banded like our bull calves generally are. Bute found the "products" of the surgery to be irresistable. Celt and Megan were not interested.

 

Yes, we are too far removed from our food sources. Most people, and not just children, have no clue what it takes to get that food on the table, at least not the efforts before the supermarket. Sorry but I really haven't contributed anything relevant to this topic but I couldn't resist.

 

Happy 4th of July to all!

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Stomachs, intestines, etc., need to be washed out pretty thoroughly and are more trouble than they're worth, in my estimation. Heads are great for guard dogs or bigger border collies. I'm unaware of any TSE concerns in dogs, and I also think that the risk of scrapie is so outrageously low (there were fewer than a dozen tracebacks in North America last year) that I don't see the point of going to the bother of removing spinal cords, etc. Livers, kidneys, hearts, etc., etc. are all on the menu.

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