Goat Stock Garden Soup

Recently, when we butchered one of our wethers, we made some soup stock with the bones, and since this was a first, we wanted to try it before we made any more. I wanted to see if I could make the soup with ingredients that came from here, just like the wether we made the stock from, so off to the garden on a treasure hunt I went, and here is what I came back with.

Starting from left to right there are purple hull peas or cowpeas, green beans, carrots, tomatoes and some roast from the wether that turned out pretty tough. I was hoping the soup would make it a little better, it didn’t. You can see that the soup stock doesn’t have much meat, but a decent amount of fat for flavor and nutrition.

I also found enough okra in the garden to saute as a side dish. We now cook it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper in a skillet and it tastes great.

This is not a lot of food, but if it was what we had to depend on for our sustenance it would provide for our needs. That is something I look at more and more. In the past I would experiment with all kinds of seeds in the garden, sometimes to see what would grow here, but usually just for fun. I have now grown much more serious about what we grow and I have written about the nutritional content of some of the vegetables. My purpose was to try and determine if what we are growing would be adequate nutrition. I haven’t had the time to sit down and analyze our common vegetable combinations, but it would be interesting to know. I think it will all boil down to what grows well here, the physical demands of the crop itself, the physical demands of growing the crop and how we can preserve it to last until the next crop starts producing, not to mention the ease and success of saving seeds for future crops. There are many variables that will impact the possibilities of adequate, or inadequate nutrition after the SHTF, many of which will be unpredictable. Even if things don’t work out, at least we have to try.

Until next time – Fern

Making Simple Jerky

A couple of days after I butchered the goat last week, I made my first ever jerky. Chevron jerky. This wether was about two and a half years old, and should have been butchered a while back. The only meat I left whole were the two back legs. I baked one while I was grinding the rest, and it came out very tough. We chewed on some of it for a few meals, then I froze the rest. It can go into a jar the next time I can some stock or soup. From this same leg, before I cooked it, I cut out a big chunk of meat with the idea of trying some jerky. This is a task I have wanted to try for quite some time.

A while back, I don’t remember if I mentioned it or not, someone out there told me in a comment that very simple jerky could be made with sliced meat, salt and pepper. That is exactly what I was looking for. I don’t want to buy an extruder and have to grind the meat, mix it with whatever, then squirt it out on a sheet of something that won’t let it fall through the cracks. I know some folks make excellent jerky this way, but I wanted something very simple. I stored the meat in the coldest part of the refrigerator until I was ready to make jerky. You know, that place on the top shelf that will make boiled eggs freeze solid? Right there. It was good and cold when I got it out and started slicing, which made it pretty easy.

I wasn’t sure how much salt and pepper to use, so this time I only sprinkled it on one side, pressed it in and placed the meat on my standard dehydrator trays.

The directions in this book said to dry at about 180* for four hours, turn it over, then dry for another six to eight hours. The problem with that is that eight hours later was about 1:30 am, and I knew I wouldn’t be up then, so I figured a little extra drying time wouldn’t hurt. The baby chicks were in the room I normally use for dehydrating, so we moved next door into the pantry. There isn’t room in the kitchen, so the dehydrator lives elsewhere in the house. Here is the jerky at four hours. It looked very good to me.

I turned off the dehydrator at 6:00 the next morning. Needless to say, the meat was dry, probably too dry. You can’t bite off a piece, you kind of have to chew it off. The four tray Excalibur dehydrator we use is very simple, with a knob that controls the temperature. It doesn’t have an on/off switch, so we plug it into a power strip that does.

What did we think? Frank’s seal of approval is still out for deliberation. Me? I think it’s great! I am very pleased with the process, the ingredients and the taste. Now I have to learn how to store it so it doesn’t go rancid or mold or something. I know I can keep it in the freezer, but what if we don’t have electricity one day?

One of the reasons I am interested in jerky to begin with, is that it is another way to store meat besides canning. Canned meat is very nutritious, but it is one of my least favorite ways to eat meat as far as flavor goes. Fresh cooked meat is great, but if you’re in TEOTWAWKI stage of life, the day of butchering will be one of the only days that fresh meat will be available. Jerky is also a great way to store protein and salt in an easy to transport package. If times get really lean, it will also give your mouth something to do for a while in times of hunger. All of these things come to mind when I think of making jerky from our chevron, or goat meat. I’ll try the same thing when we butcher our first pig. Meat from American Guinea Hogs is more of a red than pinkish white meat you see from many pigs.

The goal in learning simple, efficient ways to grow, cook and store food will hopefully make a difference when survival is the name of the game. Packing nutrition into every item in a meal, instead of empty calories void of nutrients, will be an absolute necessity if we’re going to make it. The shear volume of work required to live in a collapse, grid down, do everything yourself or you won’t make it situation, will require adequate nutrition, or will soon turn into an impossibility. Think about it. Seriously. Think long and hard, discuss it with your friends and family that are on board. Come up with solutions that will fit your situation and implement them. Now.

Until next time – Fern

Nary an Udder the Same & Goat Happenings

As I milk the does each morning, it is always interesting to note the differences in their udders. It’s something I have experienced for years, but I didn’t think about sharing it with you until recently. Goats, just like people, each have their own special peculiarities that make them unique. And since I milk my goats, one of the things I pay particular attention to is their udders. Many goats udders are very similar, but the group of does I have right now don’t share many characteristics, and because of that, I thought I would explain the differences and what I think about them.

I’ll start off with One Stripe, our old lady goat. She is now seven years old and has been with us since she was five months old. I think she is starting to slow down a little, but for an old lady, she is doing quite well. Her udder is getting longer as she ages. It also has more mammary tissue that the other does. The first year or two I milked One Stripe, her udder was much firmer and more congested than the other does. She didn’t have mastitis, but either she wouldn’t let me have her milk or the mammary tissue took up so much room, she didn’t have much. I have always wondered if that has affected the size of her udder. It still never completely empties when I milk her, but she is a breeze to milk. One Stripe’s teats are straight, easy to handle and allow a good amount of milk with each squeeze. She and I have been doing this together for so long that sometimes she will turn her head around and nudge my shoulder when she is ready to leave, but I’m not finished.

Copper is One Stripe’s two year old daughter. Copper’s udder is even, and holds a nice capacity. She does not have the longer, type of udder her mother has. The teats are even, a little longer than some, and also allow a good amount of milk with each squeeze. Copper is a taller, longer goat than the other does I have. I scoot my chair closer to the end of the milk stand to reach her udder comfortably. Copper was an accidental single kid in the middle of winter, so she didn’t have anyone to play with when she was born. Consequently, she came back to the milk stand with One Stripe while I was milking. She has always been very tame and easy to handle, if sometimes a little onery.

Cricket and Lady Bug are twin sisters that are one year old. They each had their first kids this spring. It is always interesting to see how a doe will turn out on the milk stand. Ivory, their mother, was a great milker so I had high hopes for these two.

Cricket started off with very small teats. She was hard to milk and not at all interested in letting her milk down. After a few days I remembered that Ivory started off the same way. That gave me hope that Cricket’s teats and udder would develop well during her first lactation. So far so good. She is definitely easier to milk, and she will let her milk down for me now. One of the challenges of increasing her milk production is having her son continue to nurse through the fence. With the work on the barn and the addition of pigs, available space for weaning is limited for now.

Lady Bug started off too wound up for my taste. She was not relaxed, but furtive and anxious. Now, after almost three months she has calmed down nicely, and is very easy to milk. Surprisingly, her teats are much larger than her sisters. They are not as long as One Stripe’s or Copper’s, but they hold a good volume of milk per squeeze, making her very easy to milk. For a first freshener, Lady Bug also has a very good quantity of milk, even though Easter is still nursing some through the fence.

We sold Penny, who is Copper’s daughter, to Faith back in April. I wish I had remembered to take a picture of her udder before she left. She is the first doe I have had that had two different size teats. Noticeably different. One side is much easier to milk than the other. At first I wondered if it was because her twin bucks were nursing more on one side than the other, but Faith tells me they have continued to remain different sizes. She doesn’t have any trouble milking Penny, and has adjusted to the different techniques needed to get milk from each side.

Every milker has a preference for the type of udder and teat they prefer to milk. I know I do. As time has passed and my experience as a milker has increased, I am now much more particular about the animals we add to our herd. If we are looking for a new buck, I ask to see the mother’s udder in milk or at least pictures of it. If it is pendulous, or the teats are large and bulbous, I pass. If the teats are small, or the udder is poorly attached, I pass. Since I plan to milk our does, I want animals that have the genetic propensity to produce healthy, well formed, udders and teats. I don’t have to have an animal that will produce a gallon a day, but I would like to have a decent amount per animals.

Speaking of bucks, when the vet was out recently working on our new pigs, we also had him work on Bill’s horn scurs. Bill’s horn burning didn’t go well before we bought him. We knew he had some scurs when we brought him home, but we have never had any that grew
out like this. Bill had rubbed or caught the sideways scur that had gotten pretty long, and ripped it away from his skull, which caused it to bleed a little. The vet takes care of these types of scurs with large landscaping loppers. Scurs on goats don’t generally bleed a lot because they don’t develop the same type of blood supply that a regular horn has. This was true for Bill this time. The vet applied some standard blood stopper powder for good measure. While we had Bill in hand, we also wormed him and trimmed his hooves. We hadn’t caught Bill in a while, but he is usually tame enough when we feed. You can reach over and pat and scratch him then. But when I poured out the feed and took him by the collar, he jumped up on his hind feet, hollered and fought valiantly to get loose until the vet could take over. I was very happy to turn him over to someone else. If you had been standing around, the dance Bill and I did would probably have been somewhat comical. Luckily, it worked out okay.

We plan to turn One Stripe and Cricket in with Bill on July 1st, to begin our first breeding cycle. We hope they breed sometime in July to give us December babies. This will allow us to have plenty of milk through the winter. We tried this last summer, but Bill wasn’t mature enough to handle this responsibility at the time. If our breeding plans are successful, Cricket will dry up around the end of August or early September. One Stripe has already been dried up. Since she is older, I wanted her body to have a break before she becomes pregnant again. I will continue milking Copper and Lady Bug until late December or early January when One Stripe and Cricket are in milk again.

We will breed Copper, Lady Bug, Patch and Easter in November. This will provide us with the larger supply of milk in the spring so we can begin making next year’s cheese supply. Well, that’s the plan anyway. We will see how it goes.

We still need to butcher our older wethers. We hope, cross your fingers, to get that done in the next week or so. It will be nice to have our own meat in the freezer again. I want to figure out how to make a very simple jerky from our ground chevron. Most of the recipes I have read have more ingredients than I want to use. If you know of a very simple recipe that does not use liquid smoke or any sweeteners, I would be interested in looking at it. I would like to use little more than salt and pepper, but I don’t know if that would work or not. I need to do some more research on simple jerky recipes.

The over abundance of rain this spring and early summer has also caused an over abundance of worms this year. I have had to worm the goats more than usual. Even Pearl, our Great Pyrenees, has had difficulty with worms which she has never had before. The vet said the weather this year has caused a tremendous flush of worms for all of the animals he sees. It’s something good to learn and be aware of as we continue to learn the nuances of our location. We have been here seven years and in that time we have had two years of serious heat and drought and two years of incredible rain and flooding.

We continue to see our goats as vital to our homestead. They provide us with milk which we make into kefir, butter and cheese. The by product of whey is then fed to the chickens and pigs. The dog and cats also benefit from the milk everyday. The goats provide us with meat and the other animals with nutrition through the organs, fat and scraps from our table. We enjoy our goats. They are a good farm animal. But more than that, every animal on our homestead is here for a reason. They all have jobs to perform, and if they don’t meet the expectation or need that we have, we don’t keep them. Regardless of how much we may like them or want them, if they don’t perform adequately, or exhibit an undesirable behavior that we are unable to alter, then we don’t keep them. Some we eat, some we sell, some we give away with full disclosure of why we are getting rid of them. 

Homesteading is our way of life. Soon we feel it will be our survival. We continue to increase our skills, so that hopefully, we can depend on what we know, what we have, and what we can do, to see us through the hard times that will soon be upon us all. We would encourage you to do the same.

Until next time – Fern

Meet Patch, And More Goat Lore

We had a very pleasant surprise yesterday! One Stripe had lively, healthy twins. We had a little concern, since according to my records 150 days of her gestation would fall on Tuesday, February 9th. Most goat books I have read indicate that kidding before the 150th day can mean there is a problem, unless the doe has triplets or quadruplets. As I posted before, One Stripe had attained her classic waddle, but remained very healthy and active, to the point of still trying to trot, she was too big to run, in from the pasture when I showed up at the barn.

Friday night when we went up to feed, everything was normal. One Stripe came into the barn and got up on the milk stand to eat. Saturday morning, she came into the barn, put her front feet up on the blocks to get on the milk stand, then just stopped and looked at me. She obviously wanted to eat, but wouldn’t attempt to go any further. After a little coaxing, I realized something was up, but I figured she was just getting too heavy, so I put her feed in a bowl on the floor and she ate just fine. But, after I turned her out I realized her walk had changed. She didn’t go far before stopping and it appeared that one of the babies had moved back to the point One Stripe almost had to swing her back legs out and around the baby just to take a step. It now took her much longer just to go out to the pasture, with many stops, and she no longer kept up with the herd. I hoped this wasn’t an indication of pre-delivery problems.

After watching her for a bit, I radioed Frank to tell him we needed to get the birthing pens set up and ready, that we might be having babies today (Saturday) instead of Tuesday like predicted. So, we got in gear, cleaned out the barn and got everything set up. We put hay in the back of the pens, so the does wouldn’t stick their heads through to eat it, washed out the water buckets and checked the tote with the birthing supplies one more time. Then I went out in the pasture to bring in the girls. It took One Stripe about 10 minutes, with many stops, to walk the distance she usually covers in less than a minute. She didn’t appear to be sick or stressed accept that she didn’t take too many steps before pausing for a break, some longer than others.

When we got to the barn and I opened the gate to her birthing pen, she just walked right in, right at home. This has been her routine for the last six years, so she knows what is going on and is very comfortable there. That is very nice. No stress for her, no having to make her go in, no hollering for the other goats, just peaceful readiness for babies. By the way, the other does that fought tooth and nail against going in and bellowed from the time they were put in, have gone on to other pastures. That is part of the way we maintain a calm, peaceful, easy-to-handle herd. It is part of breeding in the characteristics of what we want in a goat, or cat, or dog, or chicken. We only keep those animals that meet our requirements, and One Stripe is an excellent example of a great goat.

Saturday night came and went with no babies, which was good. That would be day number 147 in my books, and just too early. Then came Sunday, day number 148. After her breakfast, I let One Stripe out of the pen for a bit, and pulled up a chair. She didn’t go far at all, just across the barn and back. I could tell by how hollow her hips and tailbone were, along with a very small amount of discharge, that this would be the day for babies. But since it was only day number 148, I wondered if she would have triplets. It also occurred to me that if I had caught her breeding activity at the end of her 24 hour standing heat cycle, that my estimation could be about 24 hours off, which would put her at 149 days, but still a day early. The other factor is One Stripe’s age. She will be seven in May, which is older for a breeding, producing doe. Most folks would have already sold her off as an older doe. But, for those of you that haven’t read about my plans for One Stripe already, she will be staying here all the days of her life. She is one of those special goats that is calm and gentle, a great mom, a good milker, and has stole my heart. I can’t claim that with any of the others, but I can with her. So, here she stays, all of her days.

One Stripe was nice enough to have her babies in the middle of the afternoon, on a sunny, 75* February day. It was short sleeve weather with no worries about cold babies, a picture perfect day. We have two friends that are interested in goats and the birthing process that I contacted when I knew for sure we had babies coming. Faith [a pseudonym] arrived in time to see the second baby born. She is hoping to buy Penny after her kids are born and I train her to milk, so she is wanting all the firsthand experiences she can get under her belt before she takes her first goat home. After the kids were born Grace [another pseudonym] and her husband came over to see them. So we ended up with a barn full of talking a laughter. Another plus on this fine February day. Plus, Frank and I got to share some of our experience and knowledge which we always enjoy. One Stripe had no difficulty birthing at all. Just like always. She started ‘talking’ to her stomach after a while, like she was telling the babies to hurry up and come out. That made me laugh.

Patch was born first in the classic, front feet, nose, head position. In less than two hours, Patch was trying to jump around, like baby goats do. But then she would fall over, making me laugh. That is when Grace told me that Frank and I have a great life. She is right. It is a great life, and we are very blessed. Patch is a very active, vigorous baby girl, with beautiful dark brown ears, which Frank likes. We may just have to keep her.

Breakfast, yes, we named her brother breakfast because that is what he will be, was born back feet first. When the amniotic sack appeared and stayed unbroken, I thought something looked odd and kept trying to see if the head was following the feet. It didn’t take long for him to be born, and my only concern was that final push or two when most of his body was out, but his head was not. I wanted to make sure he was out and able to breathe well. But he came out fine and all was well.

When the kids are born, if I get to be there, I swipe the mucous from their mouths so they can start coughing and breathing well. Depending on the temperature, I may dry them off some with a towel. Since the weather was so nice yesterday, I didn’t dry them, but left them to their mother’s attention. Another huge benefit of having tame, easy to handle animals is that they don’t mind having you in the birthing pen with them when the time comes. We have had does that ran to the back of the pen like cornered animals, or does that tried to ram and run out of the gate when I went in, especially first fresheners. We did not keep them. It makes it much harder to help the kids if they need it or make sure they are nursing. It also makes for wilder kids that are difficult to handle as well.

It wasn’t long before both kids were dry and fed. We clipped their umbilical cords and applied a strong 7% iodine to cauterize and sterilize them. While all of this was going on, Faith described markings on the first baby, a girl, and said something like, “That white square looks like a patch. That would make a good name.” And it stuck. So, meet Patch.

Upon discovering the second kid was a boy, Frank said to Faith, “His name is Breakfast.” We have a running joke that all bucks born here have the name of Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. Some folks think that’s funny and some don’t, but all males born here are destined to be meat for our table, unless by chance, someone comes by that needs a new billy goat. But that doesn’t happen very often. We had chevron patties for supper last night, but it wasn’t Breakfast. It tastes great.

Faith and Patch

I milked out about a quart of colostrum from One Stripe last night. It makes it easier for the babies to nurse, and begins the stimulation for One Stripe to produce more milk. This morning I brought her in on the milk stand to eat. It gives her some movement, lets her eat in a normal location, and makes it much easier for me to milk her, sitting in a chair instead of kneeling in a crowded birthing pen.

Copper with her ears out

It was a great day. Easy birth, great weather, good company and beautiful babies. It doesn’t always go that way, and since One Stripe aborted last year, she had many prayers for a successful pregnancy this year. Now, to wait a few more days for Copper to kid. Yesterday afternoon as she lay out in the corral, I noticed her ears were out. That is usually a sign of listening, but at this stage, it is also a sign of discomfort. According to my records she will reach 150 days on Wednesday, two days from now. But we watched her closely because we have had does go into labor right after another one gave birth. Something about the sight, sounds and smells of birth can bring on labor in another animal that is close to her due date. For the farmer it can mean turning around to help another goat for a few hours, just when you thought you were finished for the day. We had that happen once about 10:30 at night. Just finishing up and making sure babies and mother were all settled and doing well, only to realize the goat in the next pen was laying down pushing. That was a long night indeed.

One Stripe is doing great this morning.

This morning Copper hasn’t shown any signs of birthing. But the day is young, we will see what it brings. Today is forecast to be sunny, 65* and light winds. Another great day to have more baby goats. But then, for me, just about any day is another great day to have baby goats.

Good morning, Breakfast.

Good morning, Patch.

We look forward to having some fresh milk in a few days. We will wait until Friday to start keeping the milk for ourselves. In the meantime, I will be milking One Stripe, and Copper after she kids, twice a day. This milk will go to the chickens, cats and dog. Later on when Cricket, Lady Bug and Penny birth and I am training them to be milkers, we hope to have some pigs that can benefit from some extra milk as well. By then the garden will be half planted and spring will be well on the way. The seasons change, and this time of year brings new life on the homestead and blessings to our lives.

Until next time – Fern

Goat Butchering, By a Novice


We butchered one of our wethers, or castrated bucks, today. Butchering chickens has been part of our yearly routine for many, many years. This is only the second time we have butchered a goat, and the last time was about two years ago. There are many people that have butchered many an animal that will  


be able to help point out things that would make this task easier, more effective, and safer. A good friend of ours, OP, who has hunted and dressed out deer for years, came over today to help us out and give us some pointers. 

If you do not want to see pictures of this butchering process. Please do not view the remainder of this article. We will show our set up, process and end result. It’s a little long, so sit back and enjoy the latest adventure in the life of Frank and Fern. We always begin a butchering process by thanking the Lord and the animal for providing us with sustenance and nourishment.

First, get things set up and ready. The table that held the drying sunflowers earlier in the summer was hosed down, brought in, and given a good washing. 

The butcher paper, plastic film and masking tape were brought in the kitchen along with a bus tub. The last time we butchered goats I tried using waxed paper for the first layer of wrapping followed by the butcher paper. It didn’t work well. It did not make a good seal against the meat and allowed for some freezer burn. So, this time I am going back to the plastic film as the first layer. The grinder was set up, then all was ready in the house.

The knives were checked for sharpness. We have several knives we have accumulated along the way that I wanted to try out, just to see how they worked on a project like this. 

I have used this trusty skinning knife for many years. It is a good fit for me and works well. 

Once we had everything in place in the kitchen, we set up the area where we would hang the goat to dress it out. We used the tailgate of the truck as a workbench for our knives, towels, bucket of water, and bus tub to hold the meat. We used a reciprocating saw to cut through the bones of the neck, back, legs and pelvis area.

We use a gambrel and pulley for hanging the carcass. 

Now it’s off to the barn. The last time we butchered, we put the goats in the stock trailer overnight with only water to help empty their stomachs. Then we drove the trailer down to the garage and hung them in the same place we are using today. But to do this we had to catch the animals, put them in the trailer, catch them again, and bring them out to be shot. Well, we don’t plan on wrestling the goats through this routine again. We now have to be more careful with Frank’s back, so this is not something we will be doing again. 

This time we shot the goat in the pasture, loaded him into the bucket of the tractor, then used the tractor to lift him up to the pulley to be dressed out. This worked kind of well. Unfortunately, we didn’t drop him with the first shot, but it ended up okay in the long run.

Now for the butchering. As I noted in the title of this article, this is butchering by a novice. One of the things I used to learn how to butcher is this book. And one of the techniques I looked up again is how to tie off the bung (anus) to prevent any leakage from the intestines. When I asked OP what he thought of our techniques, one of the things he hadn’t seen before was this process. He didn’t think it would be necessary when dressing out deer, but commented on how full this goat’s stomach was and that using this technique was a good idea. 


Here is a pictorial of the process.

After I got the meat in the house, I washed it thoroughly to remove any hair and blood.

Here is all of the meat including all of the scraps and organs that we saved for dogfood. There really isn’t much meat on a goat, and especially a dairy goat. Since we raise Nubians and not meat goats, the comparison is like butchering a Jersey compared to an Angus, there is a big difference in the amount of meat you get.

 The only whole pieces of meat we kept were the hind legs, backstrap and tenderloin. The neck and front legs were boned out to grind.

After we had enough ground up, we stopped and had burgers for lunch. OP had not had goat meat anywhere except in a restaurant, and his first comment was, “This tastes just like meat.” It’s a very true statement. Many people turn their noses up at the thought of eating goat meat. But if you cook it just like you would any other meat – beef, pork – then it does taste just like any other meat. I realized just how much I had missed having some goat in the freezer after the first bite. It is very good. The only thing I did was add salt and pepper to the meat before cooking, just like I do with any other ground meat. One thing about our ground meat, it doesn’t hold together like other ground meats when you make burgers. I have to be a little more careful with it or it will break and crumble. It is also fairly lean, so I put some oil in the pan as well.

We ended up with a good amount of dogfood from this butchering session. We keep the fatty scraps, the thin layer of meat on the ribs, heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs all as dogfood. If times ever do get hard, we want to have things set aside for Pearl, our dog, as well as for ourselves.

Besides the hind leg and one pound of ground meat we sent home with OP for helping us today, and the burgers we ate, we ended up with one hind leg, backstrap, tenderloin and nine pounds of ground meat. Not much, huh? While we were processing the meat our friend Grace and her husband stopped by for a visit. Grace helped me cut up the last of the meat for grinding and while we were visiting she made an interesting comment something like this. “This is a lot of work for only a little meat. But, if times get hard, you’ll have meat and know how to process it.” She’s right. It is a lot of work, and we wish it was more meat, but we are very happy to have meat on the hoof out in the pasture and the tools we need to process it. This is also the reason we raise goats. If the time arrives when we no longer have access to refrigeration and freezers, then a goat has a smaller carcass, therefore, less meat. It is easier to process and preserve without the worry of spoilage.

After trying out the knives, these three worked out very well. The others were okay, but not near as effective or comfortable to use. This is another good thing for me to know. I think it’s important to have tools that fit your hand and do the job, and the only way to find that out is through experience. One of the important safety factors that I like about these knives is the finger guard. With these knives I don’t have to worry about my hand slipping down the blade while working with wet hands.

It’s been a long, busy day. It’s also been a very good day. We had good visits from friends and family. We learned a few new things about butchering, and we now have more meat ready to eat. Life is good.

Until next time – Fern