The four Mallards received a pardon from becoming dinner this week when they started laying eggs! The pekins though, both of which are male, are still slated to become Thanksgiving Dinner. The pekin males where beating the crap out of the little mallard females so they had to be separated until it is time to butcher them (my neighbor prefers it be a little colder out so as to not attract flies). That was Saturday, on Sunday me and hubby Jeff along with sissy Karen took a 2.5 hour drive to West Hartford, VT to pick us up two six month old Alpine does. We left about 6:30am and got back home a little after 11am, which gave me and Karen plenty of time to trim hooves before she had to go to work.
So thanks to my friends over at BackYardHerds.com I have discovered that Sheep and Goats can not thrive on the same food... great. So after taking yet another trip to Tractor Supply (I think they are starting to recognize me) to buy a bag of DuMOR® Sheep Formula and a separate bag of Dumor® Goat Formula, I went to feed my animals around 5pm as I do every day.
So last Saturday we went once again over to Vermont to pick up our little boar. (It seem the only animals we can find are 2 hrs away in the middle of rural Vermont) While we were talking to the farmer we bought the young boar from I asked him if he ever had any trouble with boar taint (he, like us, doesn't castrate his piglets). He said that while he has heard of it, he butchers most of his pigs at 6 month and therefore has never had a problem. He also mentioned that at one time he had to kill one of his breeding boars who was a few years old and over 700lbs, this boar also had no boar taint. So after this conversation our minds are made up... their balls are staying put!
I have been asked before why I am a vegetarian, and when I first stopped eating meat last December I told people it was because I could not imagine eating one of my chickens. After owning chickens I realized that they have just as much personality as my dogs or cats. That has changed though, after almost a year of not eating meat I have realized that I still see cows, chickens and pigs as something we as people eat. My laying hens are pets, but I don’t think I would have a problem eating a meat bird if we decided to start raising them as well.
I am now a vegetarian not because I have anything against eating meat, but because I do not approve of the way the animals we eat are raised and treated. I call commercial meats that come from factory farms “tortured meat”. I refuse to eat “tortured meat”, but next year if we have any piglets I will be more them happy to chow down on a nice humanly raised Christmas ham! Pigs, cows, chickens, goats, sheep and many other animals are prey both for us human animals and other predatory animals… and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is the utter disregard we have towards the welfare of the animals we consume! They feel pain just as we do and should be handled in a way to reduce there suffering as much as possible. So I am a vegetarian…. at least until we start harvesting our own meat.