Farmer Trent Hendricks, my butchery and charcuterie enabler, has been steadily increasing his stock of cattle over the winter months and now has a pretty healthy herd of grass fed animals whose ultimate fate is to become food. Almost all of the animals have been bought or traded into the farm as heifers, while a smaller number were born on the farm. He's raising black and red Angus, Devons and Limousin bulls (see slideshow below).
None of the males are castrated (i.e. there are no steers) so they are more or less free to have their way with the females. It is a hoot to watch the three huge angus bulls in the field just below the kitchen window vying for dominance and not at all unlike watching a trio of high school football players playing smackdown in front of a bunch of cheerleaders.
To date we have butchered about a half dozen bulls and cows. This week we are taking apart a Limosin (pronounced more or less as Lim-ou-zan) bull that came back from the slaughterhouse weighing 1070 pounds. Once the bones are removed and turned into beef stock, we will be left with about 650 pounds of meat (maybe more) for roasts, steaks, sausage, hamburger, biltong and dog chews.
Yes, that's right, dog chews.
A few weeks ago I realized that the tendons and other tough trim that would not got through the grinder and were not especially useful for stock, could be fashioned into treats for dogs. So I am now proud to say that I can add pet food manufacture to my curriculum vitae.
Life gets curiouser and curiouser.