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Feeding a ram to a dog?

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I apologize in advance for any incorrect terminology/lack of knowledge about sheep. I admit I know next to nothing. Feel free to correct me.


So the lady I work for has decided to take her ram to market, but we were joking the other night about processing him and feeding it to her dogs, since he's caused them so much trouble. However she doesn't feed raw, so she offered him to me. I just laughed at first, but now that I think about it, that might actually not be a bad idea. I've talked with another friend who feeds raw and if this goes through, we will split it, since I can't store the all of it. As far as I know, he's at least 3 years old, probably older and maybe as big as a great dane, filled out of course. Since he was never intended for human consumption, so no weird hormone injections or anything, he just been fed hay and left to graze at his will. It's difficult for me to find cheap meat, the butcher I went to for a little bit was shut down this week because they found salmonella in their chicken; so this opportunity now sounds too good for me to just blow off.


Now for the questions;

Would be ok for canine consumption? What price range am I looking at (sorry, I really don't know how much he weighs)? Anything I should be worried about? Anybody have any experience feeding sheep, what parts are good/bad?


Thanks so much!

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Oh, heck, unless the meat stinks, eat it yourself! I usually grind my rams- they're delicious! I did have one old Romney who smelled so bad, he was dog food. He had already been ground when I discovered how bad he smelled, so I just fed the dogs the ground meat.


If I was going to do it now, I'd have the carcass cut into chunks. My dogs have happily crunched up any non-weight bearing bones from old sheep. I'm not sure I'd give them the leg bones except for recreational chewing, but others might know better.

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I agree with Ben. If he smells rank, dog food for sure. If he doesn't, then you might want to eat him too. I think, though, that to be safe I'd probably grind just because I imagine you'd still prefer to use the meat in dishes with sauces, since the rams I've had butchered all had a slight "off/musky" flavor which would be well disguised when used in stuff like chili, etc.



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All the parts are good; we have ours cut into chunks. If the ram is over 3 y.o. I wouldn't eat it yourself, especially if you are iffy about eating lamb.


get the tripe, heart, liver, kidneys, have the balance cut into 1 or 1/2 lb chunks; have them debone the legs; We've had them give us the heads but i have trouble with the visual of the dog chewing the head... our guys will eat the leg bones but they aren't as thick as cow and can sometimes splinter.


A mature ram of a wool breed will weight between 225 and 300 lbs; you could get about about 125-150 lbs of meat; Cull prices for sheep/rams here are about $0.20-$0.50/lb live weight; and processing costs $35 plus $0.50/lb cutting charge (on the hanging weight so about 50% of the live weight)


Its a very good protein source and you know where it came from. Very good for the dogs



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First you need to figure out the cost it will cost you per pound. Is she giving you the sheep? What will the butcher charge..around here it is a $25 kill fee plus 69 cents per pound. ALSO around here because of scrapie the butcher (the butcher sells the "leftovers" to a soap place or something like that that I don't fully understand) you must take ALL of the sheep back.. Yep every last piece inside and out..


Now another really cheap way. But not for the faint of heart, my friend and I were faced with a fatally injuried ram and we processed it ourselves. Basically we just quatered it and fed it like that. Luckily my dogs get a long great and I just threw out the whole carcass and let them feast for awhile..fold it back up put it in a garbage bag and back in freezer to next meal. Put the organs in plastic bags. Like I said not for the faint of heart BUT we had good free eating for a week. And the dogs had a ball.

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Has anyone ever had their dog get sick eating raw? I know many have had great results with it, and I'd love to do it, but I'm caught up in notion of food born illness.


Also, I would have no idea where to start.


The thought of having a whole ram to feed my two would be awesome. The monetarty savings over buying the high-end kibble I buy must be great!


I would certainly say go for it!



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I've been feeding raw for almost 3 years. My dogs took to it like ducks take to water. As for worried about food borne illness, do you every stop to think what goes into your dogs mouths?? The lick each others butts..get in garbage, eat poop, and any other disgusting thing they can find..


Google raw and you will find some really great websites.

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I've been feeding raw for almost 11 years; weaned puppies on raw and transitioned 11 y.o. foster dogs onto raw...plus i've fed my cats raw (which is not small feet...they will run out to the barn to eat the barn cat food if they can!)


I can count the number of times my dogs have had the runs (very few) and the only incident we had was when we didn't feed in crates. My ACD swallowed a chix back whole and was choking; he did this because the Giant Schnauzer was trying to steal his food. Everyone gets fed in their crates now.


Never had a vet visit that involved something food related nor have I had any that i know of become sick from eating raw.


Cats and dogs will eat very dead stuff if we don't keep an eye on them; Mine have eaten stuff that smells awful...one of the mini schnauzer routinely visits the death compost pile. I have a picture somewhere of one of the minis carrying around a deer leg. Do your research and decide if it is for you.



Keeping this on topic, we've processed the cull ewes ourselves and it really isn't that bad; Just the shooting them i find a little bit hard but once their dead the rest isn't too bad. My friend and I were herding one day and I had a yearling ewe just drop dead...I told the student not to worry about it, sometimes they rest, she'll get up shortly...well she didn't so Janet and I loaded her up on the ATV, took her to the barn and hung her up, I'm glad I had watched my husband do that before because it was helpful to know what to do! I spare the gorry detals! You'll save a lot of money doing it yourself...but don't do it if you live in the city, city folk don't really like to see dead stuff hanging in the back yard :rolleyes:


Funny story though, while processing one time, we had put the blood and some of the organs in a bucket in the barn. John says....where's Dixie..dixie is our white/red Border collie (see picture below); and than i hear a paw scratch on the barn door...and out she comes covered in blood...not so attractive although she seemed mightly pleased with herself.



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Not to hijack, but what are some sites you all like to get one started on a raw diet?

Tim, you're hijacking, plain and simple. Do a search, here or Google.


ETA: I don't meant to be mean. The reason to avoid hijacking, IMO, is that it makes it hard for people who do searches to find the information they want if the thread title doesn't match the contents, or vice versa. I use the search function a lot here - the archives of this board are a gold mine, thanks to the presence of some very experienced dog and stock folks, not to mention a vet or two.

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