Today was a doozy of a day. Warning though, there are photos of dead animals and trees below.
As you know, I have been spoiling the pigs because I knew this day was coming. Here is Porky yesterday enjoying monster cookies I baked for them. I have also been spoiling Bug, one of our cows with extra bread.
So today was Butcher Day, already a very busy day. But last night there was a terrible windstorm here. And when we looked out of our living room window this morning this is what we saw.
It is a large spruce tree which has fallen on our trailer.
It broke off about 3 feet up the trunk.
Here is a view of the fallen tree on the opposite side of the trailer. This tree was huge.
Here is the view from the front of our barn.
And it put a branch through the roof and ceiling of the wool room in the trailer and seriously disrupted both.
This is the sun coming up as we are surveying the damage.
I did give the pigs breakfast in bed with the last of the cookies.
Tom first had to cut the branches extending under the fallen tree so we could get the tractor through there for the butcher.
Tom started to work on the fallen tree while I did the animals chores including getting the cows moved. They initially were not interested in moving, not even for hay, and my walking through their field was quite painful on my sprained ankle. I got smart finally and grabbed a bucket of grain. Then they followed me to the closer field.
The butcher then arrived a little early, and my job was too try to distract Steve as he is not a fan of Butcher Day. So we went out to the orchard, one of his favorite places and well away from the gun shots. Unfortunately there we found another spruce tree down, this time smothering an apple and plum tree.
Believe it or not, there are two huge fruit trees underneath this mess.
The two pigs and one cow were killed quickly and easily. Tom moved them to the driveway where the initial butchering began.
I went back out to the fields to move the three remaining cows back tot heir field and feed them the rest of the hay. I was initially concerned because Marji (Bug’s mother) wouldn’t eat.
But then she did start eating. I am sad she has to go through this, but we never would have had Bug without her future as meat. But it still is sad.
I moved the donkeys back to their pasture that we had given to the pigs to give them more room. Plus during the shooting the goats freaked out and busted through a door to escape the barn into where the donkeys were. We will have to fix that in the morning.
The three animals were obviously all well fed. They are guessing that the pigs are 400+ # each.
The butcher left, and I had a pig’s head and a bucket with organs, lard and suet.
I cleaned and sorted these items while Tom’s son worked on getting the tree off of the trailer’s roof. I am so thankful he did this for us as we are both gimped up.
I finished up the chores and noticed Henny Penny enjoying a sun beam. Peace will now return to our farm.
After all of this I was extremely tired. Plus my sprained ankle hurt and my arthritic knee blew up. So I decided to make a cocktail (a Suffering Bastard from my new cocktail book) and take a bath.
Then I made dinner, Feta-Brined Roast Chicken. I had started brining one of our chickens the day before.
I chose this because I have a huge amount of feta cheese. This is because I had started shopping at Smart Foodservice. I was buying items for the hogs there (like cookie dough) but I decided to buy a few things for us including this cheese..
The chicken was relatively easy to make, which is good since I am still so tired. It was good, but I managed to forget to get a photo of it before it was hacked to bits. I will use less pepper next time, but it is a recipe worth keeping.
As I said, it was a doozy of a day. Glad it is over. The butchering went well, and we made good progress on cleaning up the tree damage. Now we have to fix the roof of the trailer and get the other downed tree off of the fruit trees. Like we needed more work.