Old, Dying Cow - Dog Food?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Bleenie, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    A neighbor has a very old Cow that went down again(happened last year too). He mentioned yesterday that he was going to have to put her down. I am planning on asking him if I might take her to butcher for dog food. If he says yes I am hoping he might want to bring her down in his tractor bucket, so what the pets don't get, wild things can have.

    I don't think I will have a problem with the meaty parts but what can I use to safely cut the bones? I would really like to keep/freeze what I want to keep and give away the stuff i don't have room for so I am hoping to salvage as much as possible from her if he agrees to let me have her.

  2. WallabyOfChaos

    WallabyOfChaos Songster

    Mar 17, 2012
    Texas Panhandle
    My Coop
    A hacksaw should be able to handle fresh bone, but it will probably be pretty labor intensive. This is probably stating the obvious, but make sure he either shoots her or uses a captive bolt as chemical euthanasia will make the meat poisonous.
  3. naturalfeddogs

    naturalfeddogs Songster

    Jan 8, 2011
    If you have a sawzall, they work great! We use them to cut through deer bones when we process for our dogs.

    Also, make sure of how the cow will be put down. It needs to be shot in the back of the head, not euthanised by a vet.
  4. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    I stopped by today and asked him about it, he does plan to shoot her and was planning on calling the rendering service to pick her up. He said he needed to think about it(giving her for dog food). He's not sure if she will fit into his tractor bucket to bring her down to our place. She is a BIG girl, He used to work at the UW cattle farm place. This cow was one of his first experimental crosses I believe, although I am not certain what she's crossed with but probably some dairy considering her size and bone structure.

    So now just waiting to hear back.
  5. Eggsoteric

    Eggsoteric Songster

    Nov 25, 2010
    He may want to check with the rendering company first. Depending upon her age, they might not take her. I believe a federal law was passed several years back that the rendering companies would have to have the brain and spines removed and tested for BSE on any cloven hooved animals over the age of 23 mos that they pick up and most of your rendering companies now won't accept older cows for this reason as it's not cost effective.

  6. Do you have a plan for the entrails (guts and other organs)? There will be LOTS, and they will be very stinky and diffucult to handle. You'll need to have a plan in place of how, when and where you are going to dispose of them.

    As far as cutting her up - you could use anything, if you are not trying to produce specific cuts of meat for human consumption. We've used plain old hand saws to get the sections small enough to get to the commercial meat saw.

    If the cow is simply going down due to old age, and not illness, you could also consider butchering her in a manner for human consumption as well as for your dogs. She's not going to make any prime rib or tenderloin, but she'll have plenty of good slow-cooker meat and cuts for ground beef. Her heart, liver and tongue (and other organs, but those 3 are my limit) can also be consumed.

    I had a massive Hereford heifer that I raised from birth. At about age 6, she started having difficulty getting up. We assumed it was because of joint damage caused by several wicked bouts of mastitis. We actually had to chemically slough her udder off. She'd never been exposed to a bull or bred, so the vet clinic was never sure how she got mastitis to begin with. Anyway, we ended up taking her to a local Mom & Pop processing facility that I knew would handle her like the pet she was. Her life was ended there as humanely as it would have been at home. During processing, it was clear that she was unable to rise because she was so fat, not because of illness. So we turned her into ground beef - over 800 little 1# white plastic packages. We kept some for ourselves, and donated the rest to local church food pantries. The ground beef was amazing - so flavorful compared to grocery store stuff. My point is, don't dismiss using this cow for human consumption just because of her age.... As long as she is healthy, she might well be a candidate for humans and dogs to eat.
  7. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    I asked him but the next morning I heard a couple shots and she was gone that afternoon. I guess he called the renderer.

    If I was going to get her I was planning to do the 'cleaning out' on a tarp/plastic that could be drug waaaay out to our back field. We live at the base of a large hill so there's all kinds of animals... coons, coyotes, cougars, bobcats. Definitely wouldn't have lasted long back there!

    Maybe next time though.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by