Monday, August 3, 2009

Chuck's Chillin'

We slaughtered our boer meat goat, Chuck, on Saturday. I say we, but I did very little. I occasionally held a water bottle to my husband's lips while his hands were bloody. He did everything of any substance. This goat has gotten hard to handle so we slaughtered him at about 10 months rather than waiting till the year we were planning. The process was quick, a couple well-aimed gun shots to the head while he was partaking of his last meal, skinning his hide for tanning, and cutting the meat into large chunks but still small enough to fit into the cooler of ice.

The hide tanning process comes from a Mother Earth News article titled "How to Tan Rabbit Hides" (available free online)... we just use more solution to cover a big goat hide. Some salt and battery acid in water is all that's required... besides some work.

Last night we took most of the chunks of meat out of the ice, cleaned them up from stray hairs as best we could, cut them into roast sized chunks, cut some off for grinding, bagged and labeled them, and put them back in the fridge. We are unsure how long it should age. This was a young goat, castrated at about 6-7 months, very lean. Goat means its gamey and needs to be aged, castrated means its doesn't need to be aged much, castrated after the common 5 week time frame (I would think) means it should be aged longer, while being lean means it shouldn't be aged at all. So... what do you think?

So nothing has been frozen yet. We found a recipe for barbecued goat ribs on and will have a rack of ribs tonight. If its really gamey, we'll keep aging the rest. If its good, we'll put it all in the freezer.

This is only the second goat we've slaughtered. The first was a very young, very small goat put down in a mercy killing. Before we plan to slaughter another meat animal, we'll put in a hanging post. Something where the animal can hang during the skinning and cutting process and not be sitting on a table where its awkward to move and gets covered in hair. Shouldn't be difficult to build yet a very handy tool to have around.

Yesterday morning while milking, everything seemed so peaceful. Chuck has been bullying the smaller dairy goats and trying to climb out of the pasture while the others are being milked (and thus being fed). Then with the meat birds and a particularly noisy rooster not squawking for grain either... so serene. Its what a quiet country life should be.

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