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Saturday, October 15, 2011

A good hearty laugh is always welcome; added content (butchering dates)

Last night the family had gone out to round up the lambs for slaughter. It was a bit frustrating. These aren't the sheep that go willingly to anything, we have even watched a very pregnant gal clear a 5 foot fence with room to spare. So capturing them has us getting creative and a bit sneaky. It was all very frustrating.

Large was a great help. After I grabbed a hoof, husband put the lead rope on him and Large dragged them of to the pen.

The first lamb was a large wooly/hair mix. Large grabbed the lead and tried hauling him off. The lamb spun him in circles for a moment. Large decided to grab the lamb's body between his knees and help show him the way in that manner.

After a few steps the lamb starts to bolt. Let me clarify that the lamb weighs more than my 6 ft tall 14 year old. The lamb knocked Large's knees out from under him. Large plopped down on the lamb, now mutton busting. I panicked a bit. Not because I was worried about Large but because the lamb might get away. Suddenly one of Larges hands come up, he is pointing out in front of him and he yells "Off to war!!" in a Monty Python sort of way.

I couldn't breath as I laughed.


Pastor Mike just left.

I guess some of you have no idea who Pastor Mike is. A quickly, he is one of my Husband motorcycle clients, he taught me to make soap, and he had his youth minister preform Husband and I's wedding as our gift.

Pastor Mike bought the six sheep. And when this man tells you that he was a sniper in Vietnam, it's no joke. I have never seen six shots so fast, all perfectly placed, into a roaming body. The man is good. He brought his son-in-law with him. He's from Kenya and lives in OK now. From what I have heard, not only from Mike but some other sheep people, OK isn't a good place for sheep this year. A lot to do with the drought I guess. But when he heard we ad sheep, the son-in-law was excited. He missed eating lamb.

We were talking the entire 10 seconds it took Pastor Mike to to shoot the sheep (took 10seconds because he had stopped and asked a lamb to look at him), and the s-i-l was telling me that our sheep don't look like what he saw normally in Kenya. Just then my wooly mamma walks around the corner. He pointed at her and told me that's the normal sheep he sees. So I explained the hair sheep to him. Explaining that these lambs are prized for their meat. It will be a nice treat for him.

I don't think the s-i-l has actually butchered anything before. My guess is that he has bought all his meat at market. When Pastor Mike handed him the knife, he was hesitant about it. Starring at the knife, then looking at Pastor Mike, then the knife again. Pastor Mike laughed and told him to start slitting throats.

We threw them in the truck and I asked Pastor Mike if he would be interested in coming out and helping butcher some cows. He said yes, then asked how much I wanted for a whole cow. I told him it really depended on the weight, some our smaller than others. We walked out to the field and I showed him who we have slatted for butcher.

He chose X, and he payed full price. Full price people! That makes me feel a lot better about selling 6 sheep for the price of 1. He didn't haggle about it. Maybe because he knows why we have to do this. Why we sold the sheep so cheap, and he was willing to help us out. Even buying X cheaper would have helped us out as we don't have all that freezer space.

The plan is to start the butchering after the 7th of November. Every Monday we will process 1 cow. If you are interested in coming out, let me know. 


Michelle said...

Oh, but how I wish you'd had video running just then! Well done, Large :)

Sandy@American Way Farm said...

Thanks for the morning laugh! I can picture it all in my mind since I've experienced trying to wrangled a large sheep and going for an unexpected ride. Good story!

Anonymous said...

You have got a great life and I am so glad for you. Large appears to be living up to his rank in the clan. Good for him!

thought I'd check and see what everybody is up too. Hard fun is the best.

the mohave rat

Desert Cat said...

Just curious, but what caliber does Pastor Mike use for this purpose?

Desert Cat said...

Another question, what would be full price on a per pound basis? I've been looking at some grass-fed beef around here (S. Arizona) and some of the suppliers seem to be asking an awfully high price. I've got a beef cattle neighbor down the valley a way and I've thought about approaching him about buying a whole beef.

Anonymous said...

Catching sheep is always a fun thing to do, huh? I can just picture Large riding off into the sunset! Glad to hear you sold a steer at full price!

kymber said...

Good job on raising such a fantastic young man Phelan! really good job!

i am soo glad that Pastor Mike was able to help you out - in more ways than one. having good friends is like gold!

your friend,

Love my Lawnmower said...

I love how farm animals (especially sheep) seem to always manage to make their human counterparts look silly! What a lark.

Phelan said...

Dessert Cat, Pastor Mike Used a .22 rifle. It doesn't take much to drop a sheep.

The beef prices are going to vary depending on so many things. I sold my bull live. Not live weight, but as a breeding living bull.

$5 a lbs live weight is typical for my breed of cattle and that includes the butchering costs. Right now because of the drought, beef is flooding the market and you can by for much cheaper.

Looking at eat wild Arizona, you are looking at an average $5.50 a lbs.

I would find out what type of cattle he is raising, find the average price for a live breeder (not prize winning) and send it to the locker yourself or diy.

Prices for cattle range from $400 to $3,000. I hope that helped. You can also check with your local locker and see what they have available.

Phelan said...

oh Desert Cat, Husband wanted me to mention that the shots were taken from 10 ft away.

Desert Cat said...

That sounds about right from what I've seen then. There was an article in a recent issue of Backwoods Home Magazine that seemed to indicate I could get it cheaper dealing direct with a rancher for a whole cow. Perhaps, as you say with the drought.

Re Pastor Mike, that is impressive then. I've read horror stories of .22 kills gone bad, and my Dad would use slugs in his 12 ga to kill hogs. Overkill no doubt, but it got the job done cleanly.

Phelan said...

Desert Cat, compared to buying it from the grocer or the locker, you do get a deal through the rancher. But as they can not butcher on land and then sell it, they have to charge you with the cost of the Locker prices. You can buy a cow and they can help 'at your own risk" to butcher from the bottom of their giving hearts.

Yes, we have had a 22 experience go bad with a pig before. Stupid books gave us trouble. But now that Husband knows where the sweet spot is, no problems there. Pastor Mike is very good. Every shot was spot on, perfect. I know we would have had to grained them and wait until the were eating and do it in the back of the head.

Pastor Mike as a story about him taking out two deer with one bullet. After seeing what he did with the lambs, I don't doubt the story.

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