Abattoir day comes round again

If you keep other animals for productive purposes, whether for meat, wool or bi-products, here's the area to chat. I mean, you do realise chickens are the gateway drug to other animals, don't you?

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Abattoir day comes round again

Postby goatlady » 09 Aug 2012, 09:13

It's only once a year, but it's always a black day in my calendar. I took this year's goat kids to the abattoir yesterday evening. I console myself with the fact that, until they were loaded into the trailer, they were blissfully unaware that life could be anything other than good. And we will, of course, enjoy the meat... But it's a difficult day to get through.
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Re: Abattoir day comes round again

Postby subruss » 09 Aug 2012, 09:58

I feel the same a week before christmas,when I have to kill this years young turkeys(10). batrayal time, but they have been hatched naturally run free range all their short lives enjoyed the sun :lol: and plenty of rain on there backs, an abundance of grass and bugs to eat and all the windfall fruit they can eat. what makes it sad is that they always look forward to seeing me :( . on the upside a couple of their siblings will enjoy a full life. and like a good few rare breed societies say if we dont eat them we can not keep them. :thumbright:
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Re: Abattoir day comes round again

Postby brooksidepoultry » 10 Aug 2012, 22:32

Aww I know its never nice, but its gotta be done - how many do you normally send goatlady? xx
A country lass who loves it all x.
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Re: Abattoir day comes round again

Postby darkbrowneggs » 10 Aug 2012, 23:41

I always feel unhappy and guilty when something has to be killed.

This spring I hatched and reared about 50 ducklings, quite a few of which will be for the table. I thought the ducks were finishing lay, plus I had hatched plenty, so stopped collecting eggs. Immediately all six laid a clutch and went broody, they were all successful. The first had 6 then 8 etc etc, that was a couple of weeks ago. I left them with the mothers in a totally foxproof pen with lots and lots of cover. Guess how many ducklings were left a few days ago - none

So if anything is going to get to eat anything it might just as well be me, and at least they will have a bit of life to enjoy before their time comes. The other 50 are enjoying mooching round in a large electric fenced pen full of long grass and a huge ancient compost heap. Duck heaven (on earth) I think :grin:
To follow my travel journal see www.thebusphoebeandme.us For lots of info on keeping and breeding Marans see www.darkbrowneggs.info
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Re: Abattoir day comes round again

Postby goatlady » 11 Aug 2012, 07:36

It definitely feels like betrayal - although I try not to handle them much or get them used to me when I know that's where they're going, but they gradually become tame nonetheless. I never handle them roughly, which is what inevitably happens at the abattoir.

How many I send depends on how many boys there are. I can usually sell girls as future milkers. This year they were all boys (four of them), and so they were all castrated early on and left home at six months. This is much later than the general custom here, which prefers goat meat very young - at six weeks or two months. Yo be honest, the meat has almost no taste at that point, and there's not much of it. At least at six months they've had a bit of a life, the mothers are glad to see the back of them by then and the meat has more taste. You just have to cook it for longer.

Good luck with the ducklings, darkbrowneggs. I'm sure it's far less traumatic for them to be killed humanely by you than to be pounced on by a fox. No guilt on the fox's side, though!
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Re: Abattoir day comes round again

Postby yorkshire duck » 11 Aug 2012, 10:31

Its never easy is it ? We send sheep & pigs to our small, local, abbottoir , which is a 20 minute trailer ride away. Its behind the traditional butchers shop; they're booked in & killed almost immediately after arrival ( under veterinary supervision ) & the staff are experienced with handling stock & (hopefully) theres no rough stuff.
We handle all the' stock' daily so they are happy with being touched & moved around by people, we hope this will make their last hour or so easier.
Poultry is killed on the farm, they are literally picked up ( which they're all used to ) & taken around the corner to the shed where they're dispatched ; its all over in less than 5 minutes .
We try & give all our animals the best possible life we can provide for them, they all free range & get to live as natural & happy lives as we can provide ; & we do our best to ensure that they are killed quickly & humanely.
At the end of the day, we ( ourselves ) choose to eat meat, meat that we know has had a good life & humane death ; as opposed to buying a neat looking , packaged parcel of meat from a supermarket, which may look appetising but who knows how the animal was cared for & treated during its life ?
Chickens, ducks, geese, horses, dogs, cats & anything else that turns up on our doorstep won't be turned away.
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