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Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Wisher1000, Jul 28, 2012.
Goat question - Will they pee and poo in their shelter if it is elevated and smallish? I am thinking of taking in a wether and a doe that are dwarf size. I'm thinking of building a combination raised deck/shelter. If it has a plywood floor, will it get all stinky and poo-filled? I want to be able to lock them in at night to protect them from coyotes and I want their shelter to have big windows covered in wire for ventilation. but do I also have to consider major manure handling? I had goats once before, but they had a barn to sleep in.
I have Nigerian Dwarfs and yes, most certainly, poop and pee happens and they don't have any qualms about loading up their shelter if confined inside there.
I have strategically placed out plastic dog houses in pastures for the goats to use when it hails here and inevitably, you gotta take the top off and dump and scrape out the goos outta the enclosed bottom. Painted plywood (enamel) with a constant layer of oat straw on top might work but am betting it would be a losing battle.
Be probably wise to have an open bottom on the shelter where you can move it at least one width over and back again after cleaning. I bed with oat straw on dirt (ruminant barns)/sand (birds) and it keeps the beasties and birdies UP and outta the mess...sorta, kinda if they don't eat it all...sometimes I think I should just buy oat straw and never mind alfalfa hay...be cheaper but then they'd stop eating the straw and look all forlorn and peakked...abused and starving...no winning, eh?
Be praised it is not camelids...I have llamas and laughed at the seller..."Oh they like to poop and pee in one spot!" like that was some how this big bonus! Yeh, they sure do...poop & pee IN the dang shelter--all the dang time! They will cross the pasture to return to the shelter barn and save it up to make a deposit there...AGH!
The sheep and goats are much more obliging....they have no qualms about spreading it out and about when on pasture. Good sheep and goats...very good
Sure glad all my barns are on wooden or pipe skids so we can move them over and clean up the mess much easier.
My observation is that goats "offload" wherever they happen to be at the moment, regardless. They also abhor getting wet, so whatever shelter they have will get really loaded during wet spells.
As with all livestock.
Oh you're so coming to my place for a tour...
Tour of the llama BEAN pile IN their barns...the pristine and clean pastures and the MOUNTAINS of beans where they are suppose to have room to lay down and sleep...
Oh them BEANS and not for your coffee either.
Invitation means you gotta bring your snow boots...5 1/2 inches predicted over the next two days and then the same amount in rain to wash it away again.
If you don't get spit on too badly, you and my Hero can exchange "handy man" stories on the man porch--good times.
I actually got told once NOT to photograph Rick at play working here--he was doing some plumbing and told me, "Hey, no proof...what they don't know I can do, they can't hire me for!" Hee hee hee...I've had women folk sidle up and ask me if I would "pimp" him out...had a barn project they wanted done. "Stud Muffin WANTED" has a whole other meaning...
Love all you productive males...really we do!
In a goat's opinion...all rain is ACID rain...it burns you know.
So how come wooled sheep don't felt in the rain? What are the three requirements to felt fiber...heat, agitation and moisture as in water! So I am guessing for the sheep, they don't happen to mind rain then?
Explains in simple to understand terms why goats don't have wool...
Or do they...all goats have cashmere (underfluff or goat wool?) and then there is the Angora Goats...have I messed enough with what is left of our minds?
I know all my friends here will absolutely love this YouTube "channel" featured on the Today Show this morning:
https://m.youtube.com/#/playlist?list=PLABDF3052CBF1B195 - Nerdy Nummies!
I want some Minion Cupcakes! (Somebody will have to make them for me, though...)
In other news, the rain today has been FANTASTIC! Good, heavy downpour. Perfect for cocooning inside and watching Chick TV.
Sparkle is raising one BCM and two Penedesenca chicks. Out in the coop, Angel is raising another BCM and possibly two Pene chicks.
Probably too late to help you with the processing but no matter, always a next time.
I remove food the night prior, leaving water. I never feed antibiotic feeds but some do (lots of commercial factory farms certainly do!) and there is some sorta system of determined withdrawal time where they feed a NON-medicated ration to turkeys to supposedly clean them out. Commercial poultry has been genetically engineered to grow & put on weight so quickly, their immune systems cannot keep up which explains why they get sores on their legs, easily catch contagious diseases with many having virtually NO immunity to any kinds of disease or infection. Probably don't apply to most of us raising birds on here. I know quite a few people that get sick from eating grocery chicken or turkey meat or chicken swill eggs...attributed to no tolerance of any sort to the medications used to produce the flesh and food products in the commercials.
Never used a killing cone BUT for our heritage turkeys I have to do this deed on my own so devised a sorta kinda one. Simple fact here is that I am the killer, the one and only in this family (never mind the Dogs...BEWARE the Holy "T" as in Terror with a Cleaver!) that grabs, stabs, lops, uses assertive defensive methods like foot trims followed by foot baths, doctors, reapplies bandages/footboots, cones of shame, pokes and prods things. I am completely amazed things don't run screaming at the very sight of moi!
"Tis HER...the dealer of death and destruction...RUN with your lives! Away, away, AWAY!"
I remember visitors of Ricks long, long time ago and me on a mission with a syringe and needle clasped in my quenched jaws as I was wrangling some beastie into one of the corral systems--thankfully I have a headgate for the sheep/goats now. "Be right with you in a second!" Now we have some good sets of property gates and lock those if I got things needing doing where I don't want to be interrupted half way thru! LMBO
For a heritage turkey (largest I've processed was a 33 pound Lilac tom), I use a poly feed bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bottom of the sewn part of the bag. Goes without saying I got everything I need laid out and ready prior. I go in the pen, pick up "dinner" and carry them out. I want that they are completely oblivious as to what is about to happen. I do the deed out of sight, sound, and smell of any other creatures, especially Rick who has no stomach for killing (quite fine by me...I've safe from being exterminated, eh?). He was made to process chickens as a kid and hated the entire process, don't blame him there. It is ucky poo poo!
So you got a small hole in the bottom of the poly bag (nice and strong these!) which you slip over the head of the victim, uh turkey. I give it a wrap to tighten it up (the shroud of death)...you could quite easily duct tape (Red Green would be So proud of this use) around and secure it even more. I find most of us that have had kids have this third arm and hand that appears from nowhere in our times of need PLUS I kinda got in trouble once using some of Rick's stash of duct tape to secure a box once; he thought that he had hidden it from me...well us wives know better...we know where the men folk stash things--no duct taping for me.
So off the wall question, what is the best place to "stash" a fecal sample where no men folk or the kids will find it...in the vegetable drawer of the fridge...nobody goes in there! This tip from a Texas professor that use to come up here to teach Goat Husbandry courses...bwa ha ha...
So I shroud the turk a lurk in a white poly bag, lop off the head with a sharp cleaver, and hang the "it" over into a large garbage can with three or so layers of garbage bags to catch the blood in--no leaks please, that equates more work & no shortage of that here.
Plucking...I DRY pluck ALL my birds. Nothing grosser to me than this soppy warm & wet, slippery, stinky (worst than wet dog by far!) ugly mess.
Dry plucking is wonderful...choose a calm windless day and away you go. One heck of a lot easier for set up, no water to boil, pots to use, no exact temperature to worry about. No burnt fingees, no horrific waifing smells (besides when you gut, that is still an ugly smelly biz). If you killed the bird well and proper and immediately begin to pluck the feathers pull out wonderfully. No so long as you are not doing up a bird during a moult...and even then, scalding won't help much to fix that flub up. Some use a lit candle to burn off those philoplumes--wispy hair like projections left behind after you defeather a carcass.
All our turks (other than the Bronze and Blacks) have light down, so we don't have the dark pigment left in the skin issues some have in processing turkeys. Dark pin feathers issues. Looks unappealing but is no real harm in consumption.
Often I set up a cart or wheelbarrow and chair facing it to pull feathers into a few garbage bags. Now since this turk of yours has external parasites, I would expect dry plucking to be sorta gross now that the original host is no longer living, getting colder by the moment and they need a new source of warmth and place to reside (that would be you...closest thing at hand!). Scalding the bird will lessen the life of the creepy crawlies, so I would suggest wet plucking in this situation if only to lessen them annoying bugs somewhat.
I do this processing for Easter and Christmas dinners on a Monday afternoon after all my chores are completed and I won't be disturbed. Birds are intended to be cooked and consumed on the following Sunday. One of the newbie mistakes that people often do is kill the bird the same day as they intend to consume it. That "killing the old red rooster when she comes" is a virtual fairy tale. If the roo was old, you would be cooking it in a pressure cooker (chicken and dumplings for a real reason past it tastes way good) or at the very least, simmering the tough skanky thing for at least the entire day...slow simmer with lots of added water repeatedly simmered down and repeated to tenderize the meat.
Stop a moment and contemplate what is done with prime cuts of beef and lamb...it is AGED...killed, processed and kept cool (in lambs even how the carcass is hung is important...search out how to tender stretch a lamb and you will see there is a whole culinary art form of how to prepare meats for consumption, even prior to cooking it) for a certain amount of time to allow the rigamortis ("the stiffening of a dead body accompanying depletion of adenosine triphosphate in the muscle fibers") to subside. This takes time to happen.
Kill a bird and eat it tonight...welcome to SHOE LEATHER! Hope you still got all yer teeth and don't mind sore jaws...LMBO
People don't think about how chicken is produced for grocery store sales...the birds in those bags labelled FRESH are days and days old. The grower has the birds picked up and delivered to the processor, the birds are processed and packaged...then shipped out all over the country--this process takes TIME...so that FRESH grocery store chicken in the meat counter display case can be as old as a week.
*** GROSS OUT ALERT ***
I remember reading the book, Big Red as a kid (1945 by Jim Kjelgaard)...remember how the mean owner of the dog, Pidgeon, hangs a wild duck he shot by the legs in a cool porch...it was more a common practise in places like the UK to "age" wild duck in this fashion...when the body drops off the secured feet, it was ready to be eaten...oh nummy!
OK...safe to read again...but still about processing birds...ha ha ha...
Once the turkey is bled out, I begin to pluck, usually the chest and up to the wings. Depending on my mood, I will usually cut off the wing tips (useless things and far too much work defeathering these to put them in the soup stock base, so why bother). I find if you pull out one primary, starting at the furthest one, they come out rather easily...if you think you are going to take several at one pull...guess again. One feather at a time leaves room for the next one to pull out, easier and easier as more room is opened up.
I put the deplucked, degutted and washed turkey bird in a large plastic bag and in one of our refrigerators to left it age. Sometimes I will freeze the gibblets (heart, liver, gizzard) that same day as processing because I don't feel the innards are going to improve any over time with ageing....can eat them cooked up that day, but the rest of the bird, that will be aged to tenderize and mellow out the flavours.
Use this time also to check out the internal health of your flock (you have only one you are doing but if you decide to get into the birds)...examine the innards of organs, fat too...see what kind of health the birds are in...lots of fat to get them thru winter...just a general checkup.
Christmas T-bird in 2011
Easter T-bird in 2012...lots of healthy layer of fat so came thru winter in great condition.
Rick and I thought our tastebuds were just getting old...that turkey was suppose to taste bland...that is until we got us some of our very own heritage turkeys to raise. My my my...what a difference...suddenly turkey tasted FAR OUT MAN! Was just awesome like we remembered from our childhood.
I did taste tests with the fam and tried nine and ten month old turkeys (hens and toms; even breeder birds...no off flavours EVER!) and the consensus is that a 16 month old tom (that has been used for breeding) is the most flavourful and tasty for us. Love that...the bird gets to live a relatively nice decent life and then one day, POP and gone into our bellies...cycle of a happy meat life.
Keep in mind, these birds we have raised have enjoyed life...happy meats that were REAL birds...so they ate good food of all sorts, walked about and foraged, they have used their muscles and developed that delectable flavour. Not many realize it but the commercially produced poultry as in turkeys and chickens have FLAVOUR packets added...ever wonder why the carcass is slimy and ozzy...that's yer flavour injections coming out--that waterish discharge in the packaging bag is the FLAVOUR of the birds. Without this additive, they are totally benign tofu tasting like otherwise.
Commercial Tom on left / Heritage HEN on right - more white meat in comparison!
Heritage turkey is a different shape than the commercials. Their different LONGER shape means the tom can naturally mate the hens (his chest does not get in the way) AND I did an experiment and tested a Lilac hen to a commercial tom and the shape of the heritage birds results in MORE white meat (choice cuts) percentage wise than these suppose better double breasted commercials. Hilarious really...
It is all lies...lies to try and justify crippling poultry--at least I figure. Far easier to pump them full of antibiotics to raise them in less than nice ideal conditions, cramped and wretched...quicker to put on less quality of meat and by all means, of course, cheaper...yes, cheap meat and it sure tastes like it. Not naturally flavourful, not of a nice texture and if medication residues concern you...yah, that too! LOL
Excerpt from Glenn Drown's book 2012 Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry, page 119:
If you like mush meat, factory farmed tofu-like chickens and turkeys...fair enough. I mean there are people out there that don't like to CHEW their meat--open the hatch and let it slide...on the run, busy busy doing not much of any true value, don't want to waste energy enjoying a real, homecooked meal--no pleasure found in that! My opinion on how lazy and dull that is...we don't really need to go there, do we?
The commercial mushers have had NO time to develop any texture and flavours from LIVING a real existence. Genetically altered to do nothing but laze around, kept in the dark to eat and drink and CRAP tons...that is what most all of the factory chickens and turkeys are wanted to be. No hassle to handle, set out a continuous supply of inputs to make outputs of flesh. Not tasty meat, but kinda meat or protein...just blah stuff.
It keeps lessening but aren't factory farmed chickens processed at the age of, what 47 days?? Icrumba. Just under 7 weeks...no time to develop any chickeny flavours--tastes like NOTHING because nothing was invested in them. Quality takes time...like fine wine and us old persons...TIME has to pass for quality and value to be present!
Length of time cold aging - mostly based on size of carcass!
Chickens, smaller carcass, maybe three days...
Turkeys, larger birds, so five days.
If you are going to freeze the processed poultry...you can toss them in the freezer the same day as processed BUT note that on the label. Not aged...then take them out and thaw in the fridge, and maybe two to three days aging of thawed turkey and for a thawed chicken, I would lean towards one day of aging or even thaw in fridge and cook when not frozen any more. Keep in mind, that freezer time does age meat during frozen storage...so the longer IN the freezer, the less time you need to age when defrosted.
So that's about all I can think up for now on turkey processing...
Obviously, I am very much supportive of our heritage breeds of poultry...that we raise...I am even fine with Cornish crosses and Leghorns. the terminal hybrid clans, but raised like good backyarders raise birds...happy meat and eggs that really gets to live a good life by squishing mud between their toes and chasing <<gasp>> bugs!
One can TASTE the happiness when we do good by our birds, yes? Happy meat!
Doggone & Chicken UP!
Tara Lee Higgins
Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm, Alberta, Canada
Now im gonna have to add turkey to my wish list. Wild turkey is in my top 5 favorite foods. How do homeraised turkeys compare in taste and texture to the wild variety we have here in alabama? Ive never tasted a himeraised turkey.