I have always liked the idea of a self-sufficient lifestyle. (Sufficient as regards food; we will always be dependent upon God!) Saturday, we made another step towards supplying our own food.
LilyAnn and Justice helped me butcher a sheep.
He was an extra mouth to feed, kind of mean, and very healthy, so we decided it was time for him to go to the freezer. And rather than paying someone else to butcher him, and having to cart him over there, we decided to just do it ourselves.
|This photo was taken several months ago.|
(WARNING: Images include a (dead) sheep being processed, and children helping with the work. With that said, I will add that I have intentionally omitted any very shocking photos. And, for the record, the sheep died instantly and painlessly.)
|View of the improvised slaughter house from below.|
|View from above.|
"Oh my! So that's what happens when you sneak up behind people and headbutt them..."
"I never can understand these people: we guard the animals all night, and then they do this in the morning."
Done for now! When the meat is finished aging in the refrigerator we will wrap the pieces individually and freeze them.
Some quick facts:
I bought this sheep last spring, for $35.
He was raised entirely on grass, with no supplementary feed through the summer, and only hay and a little Chaffhaye (alfalfa) this winter.
It took about 4 1/2 hours of work to butcher, from start to finish.
We finished with approximately 32 lbs of high quality, extremely healthy meat and soup bones, as well as a hide that will make an interesting rug.
We learned more about providing our own food, and the amount of work that it takes to feed a family from our own land. God designed food to be healthy, and it is good for children to learn to work early. When they see the time, labor, and expense involved in raising an animal for food, instead of merely seeing the meat appear on their plates, it will give them a higher appreciation of their food.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:30