Eating your own goats?

Discussion in 'Meat Market' started by dannyduprey, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. dannyduprey

    dannyduprey New Member

    12
    Jun 7, 2010
    Venus, Florida
    We got our Lamanchas about 15 months ago so we could have fresh, raw milk. Not having a farming background, we treat them more like pets than livestock. (I suspect many goat owners feel like this.)
    I think I wold like to start raising a couple goats for meat, since I think it's healthier than grain-finished beef.
    I would be interested in hearing anyone's experience in transitioning from loving your goats as pets to eating them for food. (I have no intention of killing them myself, and am trying to find a mobile butchering service in our area.)
     
  2. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    I eat my goats. I have kinders, which are all purpose goats. They are good small dairy and meat goats. I love them dearly. My theory is this. The ones that are culls have a lovely little life and one bad day. I name them and thank them when we eat them. I know what my food ate. I know they weren't abused. I know they had a good life, even though it was short.

    No matter what kind of goat you raise, if they have a purpose at all other than being pets, you end up with too many of them. It is impossible to keep increasing numbers of wethers forever, in order to get milk. It isn't such a good idea to keep does that are not good producers with strong udders either, since they pass on their faults.

    I figured this out before I got any goats. At least the part about having to eat them. I didn't know so much how I would feel about it. It's part of life.

    Jan
     

  3. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    We are raising boers for meat. We're very new to goats, and many of the people we bought our goats from raise them for meat, or to sell for meat. I was always told, dont' spend 'too much' time around the ones you plan on butchering. Don't name them like you would your pets. In fact most of them said they don't name them at all, they just call them 'little man' or something like that in general and not just to one of the boys... If you name them, chances are it might be harder to let them go... Not sure what we'll do. But I want to make sure my kids understand from the start, that certain ones will be put in the freezer one day - or actually we plan to sell meat to family/friends for special occassions.

    Again, don't spend too much time with them, and don't let yourself get attached. Easier said than done...
     
  4. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    I don't have children here, so that probably makes it harder. It's also probably good for them to understand where their food comes from, even if it comes in a package from the store. It may be hard, but when the time comes it has turned out not to be that hard for me. There are always multitudes of ways to do things. I don't butcher them myself either. I think that would be impossible for me to do.

    Jan
     
  5. Perfect7

    Perfect7 New Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    South Georgia
    We're also just getting started with boers, so haven't butchered or eaten any yet. We have one wether that we know will be in the freezer by December, and the kids know it as well. We unfortunately named him (he was initially intended to be our herd sire but didn't meet the standard). However, he is in a pen with our buckling and the kids do not mess with him. They pamper and pet the does but only dh goes into the "buck pen" to mess with the boys.
    I have raised bottle calfs and ate them at a year old. It wasn't hard at all because we dropped them off at the butcher and brought back meat in white paper.
    If I was messing with the wether every day like the does I don't think I could eat him. He still gets wormed, vaccinated, fed well, and fly spray but I don't spend any time loving on him and spoiling him. I try to make that distinction in my mind. If I can't eat him it will be because of the flavor and not because of any sentiment (at least in theory right now). But considering my two calfs before (t-bone and big mac), I think it will work out. It's sad to say I get hungry looking at him thinking about goat meat enchilladas!
     
  6. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    i've had boers , nubians, percentages and now i have lamanchas.. i have eaten , without problem , animals that i've raised .. you just have to remeber they are there for the purpose of food
     
  7. bheila

    bheila New Member

    644
    Jan 9, 2009
    Kent, Wa
    I agree with Sarah. Always remember what they're there for. We have no problem raising, naming or eating our pets. Yes, we consider our homegrown meat pets. With the exception of the meat chickens all of the animals get names and we eat them. We really wanted to show our children what the life and death process is of their food. We feel better knowing our meat wasn't abused, locked in small cages, fed junk...etc. We let our kids help with any butchering we do and they're more than happy to help. They're never forced to help. When it comes time to eat supper, the kids always ask "who" we're eating. I always quietly say a prayer for every animal we consume. We will never go back to buying meat from the grocery store. I'm working on getting milk goats for our dairy products.
     
  8. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Here everybody gets names. The get loved on almost as much as the others. Am currently bottle feeding two two week old bucklings who will go for meat.
    Am selling a couple doelings for meat, one got her tats I was going to keep her but didnt have any others for my customer. Am keeping more doelings than dh wants.
     
  9. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Member

    996
    Oct 19, 2009
    I don't name anything we eat here... my parents on the other hand, used to name their meat animals after food products. Bacon and Hammy were the most delicious homegrown pork I've ever tasted.

    To me, knowing I'm providing hormone free, healthy, humanely raised meat for my family trumps any sentimental feelings I might have towards the animals. The US's food quality is going downhill and I'm not game for feeding that to my family. :-/ That's just me though.
     
  10. nutmegfarm

    nutmegfarm New Member

    543
    Dec 22, 2009
    NE Ohio
    We eat our baby boys from the current spring around 6ish months and it doesn't bother anyone because you know that they will be going for meat, so you just get that mentality. I agree about the quality of meat and I feel better consuming my own chicken, goat, milk,eggs, etc. personally, but that's just my opinion.
     
  11. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Member

    996
    Oct 19, 2009
    When the US first started out, there were 150 meat processing plants throughout the country. Thanks to the USDA, there are now 8. For the whole US. How clean can those places really be when they are pumping out meat for a whole country, plus others? That's a big reason why salmonella and such was floating around.

    I'd rather be safe than sorry.
     
  12. Itchysmom

    Itchysmom New Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    Washington
    I will be butchering my first goat this fall. I have a doe and her whether. Fortunately he is not tame, neither is mom for that matter! As soon as I am able to get them to my new place I will work with the doe as I want to milk her next year...but son is going in the freezer.

    How will I handle that? I am not sure. I did however tell hubby that when our friend comes over to show him how to butcher, I don't want to be home that day! I know that the slaughter will be quick but the first one? I just don't know until that day comes! Now chickens I have no problem with! I also raised rabbits for a snake we had once and had no problem feeding those. Guess it is just a matter of getting used to doing a bigger animal. We plan on having a pig also...it's name will be Bacon!
     
  13. dannyduprey

    dannyduprey New Member

    12
    Jun 7, 2010
    Venus, Florida
    Thanks for your thoughts on this. Philolsophically I have no problem. I'll just have to get past the emotional part.
     
  14. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    The emotional part of it ends for me as soon as the bullet hits. Then they are no longer who they were.
     
  15. Or you could do what we do. Wait till you have one you REALLY can't stand due to meaness or something. LOL Then you are glad to be rid of it. I have not had many like this but they do pop up and let me tell you, I had one I would be more then happy to have done the killing the butchering and the eating. She was so MEAN I wanted to eat her in the yard some days. LOL
     
  16. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    The first one I did was a bully.

    Jan
     
  17. ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl New Member

    771
    Jan 31, 2010
    ohio
    treat your dairy's as pets unless you will be seriously culling your herd. keep the goats you will be eating seperately, handle them less, mostly try not to think about it until after you eat it. lots of people cry at there first butchering but after a few and the wonderful meat, they dont mind so much.
    i think it helps to look at it this way:
    they were happy. they were well fed. they were treated humanly. you dont know how that poor cow was treated that is in that burger at mcdonalds. you dont know how it would feel to spend your life in a cage only inches larger then you, never walking or going outside, or knowing how life should be.
    to me, it is better to eat an animal you raised becuase you know it lived like a real animal and wasnt all medicated and stuck in a little cage or stall.
     
  18. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    While we haven't butchered anything before, I have to say that is a great explination. Years ago my brother and his ex wife used to work at an egg farm, and they couldn't get over how awful it was. Chickens all crammed in little cages, and sometimes they'd lose a body part that would get stuck in the conveyor belt! I almost went to work beside my SIL when I was old enough, and just couldn't do it after I heard the stories - needless to say they didn't stay there longer than they had too. Also - to boost production they'd give the chickens JUNK FOOD.

    I know I'll most likely cry when we have our first goat butchered. Especially one we raise.