Yeah, we do it here Danil54, but we don't run any cattle on our place. My sister does though. We've got pigs, goats, fowl, rabbits, and horses. Most of our work here on the place is done by horsepower, the plowing, hauling logs, etc...
I have the pigs, goats and chickens, alomg with donkeys, a couple bulls and a a couple bull calves along with our new heifer. I was told today that my neighbor was giving away his mule "Radar". This was told to me today by another neighbor. . .He said it was a couple weeks ago. Not sure if he is still there (as I haven't heard him recently "talking" to my donkeys), but will dcfinately go talk to him tomorrow.
Do you slaughter your own pigs or take them in for slaughter. We are planning on breeding a couple of ours and 1 is for slaughter "Porkchop". His schedule is next winter, I have never done anything like that, but am trying to educate myself on it. I have a resoure, which is an old "cowboy", who was raised with this lifestlye and is currently teaching me. I am very grateful to him and his "cowdog" Chance, because they have both come to my aide. I am hoping that Chance can train a couple of my dogs in the future. I have recipes and a how to, but just wanting personal know how on this subject. I don't want to waste anything that can be used. . .and yes I know somethings are not what anyone would think about or know how to use. I have read up on the head, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, nut if there are any other info out there. . . I am open minded and love learning new skills
I have done both. If you have the help, the temps are right, and something strong enough to do the hoisting, then doing it yourself is not too bad. A pig is a heck of a lot different to kill than a goat or steer, pretty much the head shot to stun them and then you need to stick them good in the jugular or the heart if you can get in there.
What breed are you doing? If you are doing pot bellies or AGH then a tail gate makes a good work surface and it's easy peasy to get them cut up and packaged. Do you plan to skin it out or scald? We scald because I refuse to lose anything more than I have to. Heck, I even catch the blood to use later on.
I have made mozzarella with cultures before and it is very easy. I would love to make my own "Mother" cultures one day (I do have for a couple, not not all). I have been reading up on using sour milk. . My girls should be producing in the next 3 months. I am wanting to do it the way our ancestors did. If you are interested in the "Mother culture" recipes, let me know.
Porkchop is a blue belly. I dont plan to slaughter until next year when we have cold weather. I do not plan to waste anything eitheir. Have you made HogHead Cheese? I hear that the old timers would use the lungs "lights" as gravy. Also use the heart, liver, and kidneys. I haven't done the research on these last three yet, but I will. Times are rough, and I don't mind expanding my mind at all.
Yes, I've made head cheese, good stuff, but now I rather smoke the jowls and bone out the rest of the meat for ground or blood pudding. You can grind the heart and liver into your sausage, I give the dogs the lungs and kidneys. I just don't like kidneys for some reason. That's the thing with sending your hog in to be done, you don't always get what you want back. Like here, you can't get the blood or lungs. Nothing is wasted, if we can't eat it, the chickens and dogs will. My favorite treat when I was a kid at butchering time was the tail, scraped and stuck on a stick to roast over the fire.
Honestly I think it depends on what you want to do with your milk. Does your family just want to drink milk? Or do you want to have extra for different recipes, making butter and cheese? There are also some who do not like the taste of goat milk, because they think it is "off" tasting. ( I think that is because they leave the billy in with the girls while they are producing. It make the milk taste stronger). I have milked cows before, but not for a very long time. I would have liked to have gotten a cow verses a heifer, but my husband liked her. There can be many problems associated on a first time cow.
For a first timer, you may need to consider buying a cow from a local farmer. Have a demonstration to say. You need to look for a gentle cow that has already been hand milked for awhile verses a cow that has had a calf and run through an auction house. I've been through a few where the auctioneer will ask if she could be milked and the seller would say , you can try
I agree to a point with old-anorak's comments re sheep - but it comes down to planning and having some knowledge of particular livestock farming. If left to their own devices, sheep can easily overgraze a paddock, but good livestock management prevents this. Also depends on the pasture that they are grazing too. Goats are good for brushy undergrowth too, but, they too can be very destructive, also tearing up pasture. I guess it all boils down to preference and management. Me, I prefer sheep over goat to eat, and have had more experience raising sheep than goats. I guess it comes down to what is best for your particular situation. Plus, my garden prefers sheep poo, one of the best fertilizers to come out of an animals bum.