Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fletchers Day of Reckoning ( or Ours?)

Last Tuesday was our big day - the day we killed Fletcher.
Grant and Mary-Ann told us they would be here by 10am.
Keith & I were both a little anxious, not in a "Oh poor Fletchers" but more in a "what will the day be like?" state.
To pass the time I watched the bridge, and went to say good-bye to Fletcher, and Keith sang impromptu songs to the Steer.

Here they come!

Grant & Mary-Ann with the .22 rifle

Grant's aim was true, Fletcher fell immediately and was dead before he hit the ground.
They reckon he weighed about 900 lbs. He was a good size for his age.
I'm not posting the photos of the slaughter, but it all went well.
I was only taken aback for the first 3 minutes, after that I was fine.
The skinning and seeing the anatomy of the cow was fascinating and I had no problems being covered in blood and bits of flesh or holding onto innards while the stomach came rolling our when Grant slit the underbelly. Fletchers stomach was huge - about 3 feet in diameter.
I'm making a little photo book of the process, so when you visit the farm you will be more than welcome to look at them.

We are tanning his hide. This is the final rinse, the hide is now in the basement drying out a bit,
the next step is salting the hide.

Mary-Ann told me how to prepare the liver before freezing it. His liver is huge! I washed it 4x in cold water then 3x in salted cold water- to get all the excess blood out of it.

I also prepared the tail for Ox-tail soup and the tongue. Many of the other organs went to Mary-Ann's daughter. Not too much was wasted, the stomach and the intestines are out in the far pasture waiting for coyotes and the such.

This is our first Fletchers meal - Liver & Onions.

It was delicious! Keith & I both had images of Fletchers frolicking in the Paddock as we chewed, but it was a good thing, it just made us appreciate the meal that much more, knowing that the cow was well cared for when he was alive.

Today we are cutting & packaging half the beef, tomorrow the other half.
I think we will be having steak tonight.
We really appreciate Grant & Mary-Ann for taking us under their wing and teaching us the Ways of The Farm!!!


Amy said...

Loved the impromtu Dad. Where did you get the electric guitar? By the way, I'm very glad I wasn't around for the first meal. Please don't ever serve Liver when I visit!

granny said...

I am amazed by you two, Megan and Keith! I have been wondering how everything went, and it sounds like you took on the job of raising and then slaughtering and butchering your steer like the true farmers you have become. Great Work and Bon Appetit!

April said...

The children were riveted by both the videos. I am also amazed at how you dealt with killing your cow. So many of us do eat the beef but aren't really prepared to consider, much less carry out ourselves, the steps necessary to get the stuff to the table... Fletchers had a great cow life... Lucy had to turn away with tears in her eyes, Megan, during your goodbye video...
I am inspired and impressed by your hard work, compassion and lack of sentimentality. Love - April

Alyssa said...

Maybe it would have been helpful to perfuse him first:)

Our Farm: Keith and Megan said...

To my daughter the science geek,
The latest issue of "Standards For Butchering Practices" states that perfusion should not be used in this paricular surgical procedure. The idea was to remove the fluid, not keep it in circulation. But thanks for your interest.