So we butchered our first sheep... *warning: graphic photos*

Hi guys!

It's been awhile since a farm post, but I wanted the next one to be more interesting than just a couple of fat sheep roaming and grazing to no end... So there you have it, a butcher post! This post is for those who are curious of what this graphic process may look like... Maybe it's to help you justify eating your meat, so you can understand what it takes to get it to your plate! I for sure will never look at meat the same since I witnessed the entire process of slaughtering to butchering. I'm not grossed out, but I'm more thankful and aware of what I'm eating.


Oh and if you didn't notice in the title, there are photos... With blood and guts. Sooooo know your limit, but I encourage you meat eaters to take the visual plunge for your meal's sake!


INTRODUCTION:
So the men of the hour, my husband Michael Park and my brother-in-law Josh Ashe, took on the deed, while I directed them with my Google iPhone results of "how to butcher a lamb", and of course, took photos. Chicken was the name of our ram, (because he behaved like a chicken) and after 9 months of roaming the earth, and hopefully breeding with our ewes in the past fall, he got the chop.


THE DEED:
We gently tied Chicken's legs together and carried him behind a tree where the herd couldn't see. Of course, the neighbors kids walked out right before Mike was about to cut Chicken's throat! So we moved the sheep a little more behind the tree, did a quick prayer thanking God for Chicken's life, and Mike did the deed. After we let the blood drain on an incline for ten minutes, we then drove Chicken to our next destination...


DIY BUTCHER SHOP:
Josh and his wife Suzie (my awesome and wonderfully crazy sister) turned their garage into a butcher shop, just for the occasion. Now Suzie and Josh have seven children (who I all love insanely much!) and these kids were EXCITED to see the dead sheep! They witnessed most of the process fully interested in what was happening. Now that's some tangible education!

Sawing off his legs below the knees to hang him.

SKINNING:
First stage, after hanging chicken, was to skin the hide... This was my special mission for Chicken; to process and tan his hide into a LEGIT sheepskin rug. None of that fluffy Ikea crap, real deal. Little did I know it would take five hours to carefully cut and "flesh" the hide before storing it until Summer. So I too, got my hands dirty and very smelly. Farmer points.


I HOPE YOU GOT GUTS FOR THIS:
Once the hide was off, the men cut open the carcass to release the guts, which in my 6 year old niece's words was, "The coolest part!" I don't know about the "the coolest"  but it sure was the stinkiest! We kept the liver and heart but the rest was bound for a soon to be confused garbage man the next day...

Sheep heart (we put this in the ground meat!)
BUTCHER CUTS & PACKAGING:
Mike and Josh sawed the carcass into three primal cuts (back legs, rib cage, front legs) then took each piece upstairs to the kitchen to make the finer cuts. I was just so impressed that Mike could add the title of "butcher" to his skillsets!


CONCLUSION:
So there you have it, in one day, a sheep went from walking around to being divided up into small pieces in vacuum sealed bags! So how are you feeling? I hope more aware and thankful for that meat on your fork! Sadly, most meat doesn't come from happy and healthy sheep like Chicken on a 100% grassfed and organic diet. In the end, knowing how your meat is killed and butchered is great knowledge, but knowing where you meat was living and what it was eating is the most important to your health. That's why Mike and I are now aiming to eat and purchase only grass fed, organic meat. Yes it's more expensive, but in reality your health AND the animals you're eating can't afford the alternatives. A little pep talk from farmer Victoria, but since I don't have the time to educate you further on this matter, check out this awesome infographic explaining the difference between grass fed and grain fed beef. The same benefits overlap for grassfed lamb, bison, etc.

Oh ok a few more highlight photos...

I told the kids, "Look terrified!!" Hehe
Close and personal with my 5 hour fleshing process...
Married Man Power!! Hand grinding meat is no easy feat.
My sheepskin all fleshed with an inch layer of salt on top to preserve it while it drains out more liquids.

Alright I'm outta here! Always a pleasure to share and always a pleasure to hear people say they actually read my ramblings!

-Victoria Rose Park


2 comments

  1. info graphic didn't want to open up...?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There no info graphic, just graphic photos, graphic is another word for something bloody or gross ;)

      Delete

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