Falling Trees and Butcher Day

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.

Suffering Bastard

Then I made dinner, Feta-Brined Roast Chicken.  I had started brining one of our chickens the day before.  

Feta-Brined Roast Chicken in brine

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..

large feta

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.

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5 Responses to Falling Trees and Butcher Day

  1. Jeanne says:

    Oh my goodness, what a day you had! I’m very sorry about the damage to your trailer, and I hope it can be repaired completely.

    It didn’t bother me to see the dead animals. I know they’ll be good food for the year to come. I will say that I was surprised that Bug was due to be butchered. Just a bit of a surprise, there.

    I hope your ankle and knee and Tom’s knee are going to be all right. Has he had the MRI yet?

    Were you able to get the second dose of COVID vaccine? I can’t remember when it was that you got the first one.

    Hang in there, girl, and try to take it easy!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Jeanne! It was a day. Today was better but still exhausting cleaning up the damage. The trailer won’t be repaired completely but we have a tarp on it and can build a roof over it, if need be. I am glad it doesn’t bother you to see dead animals. I know it bothers some people. Yes, it was Bug’s turn, sorry to say. Next year will be Sonja. The plan is to get a bull then to breed Marji and Maddie and then butcher him, praying once again that we get a bull calf. My ankle was getting better but now is worse from all of this walking on soft uneven ground. Tom’s MRI showed a significant tear in the meniscus. He is now scheduled for surgery on February 1 (brand new news). And I received my second COVID vaccine dose this morning. I am exhausted but do no think it is the vaccine. I just now noticed my arm is a little sore but otherwise OK. Fellow doctors felt like they had the flu for ~ 24 hours so I am doing OK. I am trying to take it easy, but there is a lot to be done. I did make root beer this afternoon so that was less energetic than other “chores”.

      • Jeanne says:

        You don’t mean that the trailer won’t be repaired at all, do you? Since you have your wool room in there, I can’t help but think you will want to have it fixed.

        Do you think the two fruit trees will be okay? How much damage was done? My contorted filbert that is now about 30 years old, suffered a lot of damage from our “Snowmageddon” storm two years ago. The crown branches were broken. My daughter and son-in-law from Idaho were here. Phil climbed up our ladder and cut off the broken branches. I’d still like to have a pro come and give it back a good shape. (Finances are a bit of a problem.) Being a contorted filbert, it doesn’t really set on many nuts, and those are often empty shells.

        I’m sorry about your poor ankle! I hope it will heal soon! Do you wear a wrap on it? I’m glad you were able to get your second COVID vaccine. My rheumatologist just got his first one on the 6th and said he’ll get the second one on the 25th.

        I’m glad Tom will have his knee surgery on Feb.1st. I hope it will go well.

        Did I ever tell you that my mom used to raise rabbits for food? My sisters and I had to feed them, and so on. My dad had built hutches for them about three feet from the ground, which had boxes at the back for nesting. They were just big white ones with pink eyes.

        Must go for now. Take good care of yourself!

        Oh! I almost forgot to say that Ron and I used to make our own root beer, with – if I remember correctly – Hires Root Beer extract. We started making it when we lived in northern Manitoba, where we had wonderful drinking water. His family made root beer when he was growing up.

      • Donna says:

        For now we just have a tarp on the roof. Hopefully it will be adequate for the time being as we are both gimped up. I hope the two trees will be OK. We still need to get the tree off of them to see what is left. Sorry about your filbert.
        Regarding my ankle, I am not able to wear my brace inside my barn boots nor my work shoes so that is a problem. Today I used the cane again with chores and I think that helped. I should use it again at work too. I got my second COVID vaccine on Thursday. A slightly sore arm was my only reaction. I hope I get some immunity from it!
        I didn’t know about your mother and rabbits. We had rabbits but for their Angora wool which I love.
        Glad you made root beer. I hope ours turns out. I used some crystalized honey in it so if it works it should be tasty.

  2. Pingback: Felling Trees, Part 1 | Schoonover Farm Blog

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