Monday, November 14, 2011

Tonight's Research - How to Butcher a Cow

A couple of weeks ago my family went to the Livestock Auction. For me, this was like visiting a toy store. Row upon row of sheep, goats, pigs, llamas, and cows, cows, cows and more cows. The prices blew me away. I strongly urge everyone to check out their local auction house.

I want a dairy cow SOOOOOOOOOO much.

But I know very little about their needs and care. It was recommended that we start with a beef cow first. This way we learn to care for a cow and then, after we have that figured out, get a milk cow, adding the duties of breeding, calving, and milking.

Some of caring for a cow seems pretty simple. Fencing, Pasture, Housing. Looking ahead at the needs of our farmstead, we realize, we will be raising some of these animals directly for food, ie. beef.

Do we have what it takes to slaughter and butcher an animal for our dinner?

We have done chicken, duck, rabbit, and now goat just in the short time since moving out here. Honestly, the hardest issue with this is our soft squishy hearts. Silly farmers crying over their dinner. But we thank the Lord for our animals, and for helping us to provide an enjoyable, free range, healthy life for them, before they bless our table.

It seems that the mere size of the animal is going to be the largest difference. Will we be able to hang it for more ease on our backs, and have gravity help with the skinning? What tools are needed? Sharp knives for separating meat and skin, strong saw for cutting through joints and bones.

I look forward to some homegrown beef. And I pray and long for the day we have some sweet homegrown milk and cheese to go along with it. And I will enjoy every morning looking out upon my growing farmstead, with poultry scratching and squawking through the gardens and orchards, cows and goats munching the tall grasses and nuzzling my hand as I walk by them, and my children laughing and playing in the trees and mud. Sounds like a piece of heaven to me.

How to Butcher a Cow

Diagram of How to Butcher a Beef Cow

YouTube Video: Butchering a Cow

HowStuffWorks: How to slaughter and butcher a cow – A fascinating look at the meat we eat

MadeManual: How To Butcher A Cow

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