Saturday, January 10, 2009

Keeping it real, on the Ranch

Many people email or comment and are quite fascinated by ranch life, so I thought I'd show the "keeping it real" side. It's butchering day and, after receiving a not so nice comment on one of my YouTube videos awhile ago, I contemplated posting something like this, but in all honesty this is a fact of life around here.

A couple of replacement heifers.

Every so often it's time to butcher. Sometimes it's not always planned, and instead it will be because one of the cows has had a problem, usually a pregnancy problem, and unfortunately we have to put her down. We seldom have beef in clear packages in our freezers, most is wrapped in brown paper with a stamp or label on it, and it all comes from the ranch.

After a cow is killed, it's hung for a certain amount of time. That time depends on how the weather is, if it's summer it will go straight to the butcher and will hang in his shop. If it's winter we can hang it here, and sometimes that can be as long as three weeks. Mikey, my nephew, was running the tractor on this particular day.

The cow has been skinned, hung for several weeks, and is now ready to be trucked to town. Mikey inches closer as Pops and Hubby get the truck ready. Of course Hubby always has a friendly hand out to Sadie.

Plastic is spread out in the back of the truck because keeping everything clean is important.

Usually the butcher will have it cut up and ready to go in about three days. Our freezers are then filled and we're good for quite awhile.

There was actually two cows that were slaughtered, one went to the butcher and the other was cut into pieces for ground beef. We've ground our own, as I've blogged before, but due to a time issue Grandma has decided to send the already cut pieces to the butcher to be ground. Today Grandma and Mikey did most of the cutting.

The replacement heifers at the top of the post are not the cows that were slaughtered, they are to replace the live cows that get shipped to auction. Some of you might find this offensive but as ranchers we eat our own meat. We grow hay to feed cows, to sell them, so they can be eaten, a fact of life when one lives on a ranch.


Anonymous said...

That's for sure! We do like our burgers. :)

TadMack said...

I love that your MIL and Mikey are kickin' it in the kitchen with their sodas. It's all part of the job. :)

Julie said...

I've been very encouraged by the slow food and csa movements. It's about time folks re-learned where their food comes from and how it's raised. We've walked around too long with blinders on. It's a shame you've had some negative comments. I think there are some folks that just enjoy causing strife and some are just misguided.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kansas,
Just read your blog on the beef. It is to bad that there are negative comments about somthing that is a fact of life. The meat has to come from somwhere. I enjoy reading your blog... Keep it up

Anonymous said...

Good idea to show replacement cows. Some tasty steaks there eh! I heard Macdonalds burgers are kangaroo meat any way. ab

LDF said...

I agree with Julie. Unfortunately, too many people get their meat in tidy little cellophane-wrapped pkgs at the supermarket, and can't fathom the connection between critter and food. More people should be made aware of the connection. Good on you for keeping it real!

jackie said...

Ditto to what LDF said. Some people are just a little too preachy.

Anonymous said...

I would love to raise my own meat source such as chicken. My neighbors might frown on it considering I live in a mobile home park. Good to see folks raise their own food source.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kansas,
Thanks for bringing back memories. When it was butchering time we'd 'rent' the butchers after hours. Dad would cut, mom would trim and portion. I'd wrap it in the brown paper and my brother would stamp it with the type. (He'd stand on an apple box to reach the counter). The baby brother would put them in the wire freezer baskets for the trip home. I got to college and bought meat at the store and went 'what is this grey crap?' Fresh is best!!