Also including information on raw feeding, canine epilepsy, positive training, and lots and lots of Sheltie hair!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Where's the Beef?
And about bloody time, too!
Nearly 3 weeks ago, I received a wonderful e-mail through the department that I am in at the university. See, the university has its own on-campus farm, complete with beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, fish, and every type of poultry imaginable. All of the animals are technically "research animals" as they are used in the various research projects of the Animal Science graduate students. Our college deals primarily in nutritional research, so that just means that the animals are used in feed trials where they are fed different combinations of various feeds and then their production and growth is measured. With the whole bio-fuels industry really gaining ground, there is a lot of research into using the by-products of bio-fuel production, primarily distiller's grains in their various forms.
At the end of feed trials, there are animals left over that would normally be sent off for commercial slaughter and wind up in the grocery store. But because these animals are technically "research animals", they cannot be sold for commercial consumption. Even though there is nothing wrong with the meat at all, the animals weren't used for drug or hormone trials, or had anything funky done to them. Just feed trials. So what they do instead of just dumping the carcasses, is send it to a butcher to have it wrapped up, and then sell it to faculty and grad students in the Animal Science department.
About twice a year there is a bit chicken depopulation, so I get a lot of chicken at those times. This e-mail was alerting us to the slaughter of two feed trial heifers, and they were being sold by the quarter for a really nice price! We have a butcher that does the cutting and wrapping for really cheap, so the meat is sold for awesome prices. Some cuts being well less than 1/4 of what you would pay at the grocery store!
When I heard about the sale, I contacted a couple of friends that feed raw to their dogs, and we agreed to go in for 2 quarters (yeah ... one half, but they were being sold by the quarter). That is over 400lb of beef! These other two people have multiple dogs or large dogs, so they were each interested in a quarter all to themselves. Since I just have to two wee dogs (comparatively), I just skimmed off 25lb from each of their quarters.
Now, this e-mail came nearly 3 weeks ago with the implication that the meat was to be delivered to campus the next day. After the butcher cancelling plans and rescheduling delivery 4-5 times, it finally arrived today! HURRAY! About time too, the boys' freezer was getting pretty bare. I had been putting off buying more meat because I knew that this great big order was coming soon. But with all the rescheduling, my red meat stock was down to 1/2lb of beef heart and two small bags of freezer burned stew beef. This should do us now for quite a while!
I picked up the order, loaded up the back of my little Neon and headed out on a delivery run, dropping off the orders at each friend's house, and finally making it back home to some eagerly awaiting puppers.
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