To Butcher Or Not To Butcher This is My Problem..

When we started this journey to a healthier more free us, we thought we'd raise these animals for the sole purpose of food. When doing research on caring for the animals, I found tons of information on handling, cleaning and 'the just in case of emergencies' what to do's. Few had warned me of the attachment we'd have with them. Of course, we thought we never let them become just large pets. Little did we know how incredible these animals are!

It's no secret Big Willy has stolen our hearts with his personality. I've referenced him in many of my posts. We love him!! He's like a enormous dog. He comes when he's called, he snuggles us with his nose, let's us know he loves us too. But, he's really huge! He's about a year and a half now and he never uses his weight as a threat or to control a situation.

But, with this beautiful beast comes a even bigger food issue. We feed him only the best. Since we live in the desert, there isn't a whole lot to find readily available. So, we buy 70 lbs bags from the feed store. He gets COB (which is corn oats and barley) and of course swine finisher. We buy one of each every three to four days. Also, he's privileged to our much wasted scraps. Now that's between both our pigs.

Since Hubby coming off the road we taken a huge financial loss. Well worth it, since he's always with me. However, we can no longer afford to feed like this. So, we tried downsizing portions. Poor Willy is so used to eating like he was, he's starting to act like he's super hungry. Trying to eat everything in sight. Even trash that's blown in!

Here's my dilemma. He'd be an expensive pet, that's for sure. Times are tough. I can't imagine selling him and knowing he'd stay alive! Should we or shouldn't we? It was our intention to raise him to be butchered. We have a new litter coming at any moment. These are the issues I'm weighing. What do other people do in this situation?

So confused and heart broken! Please help.

5 Sweet Comments:

Lynn said...

Oh, this is a hard one...
My Nana was raised on a farm and she told me one time they never named animals that would be their food...her job as a young girl was to pluck the chicken feathers out after they were dead to get them ready for cooking.
I don't think I could eat any animal I had raised. I would probably sell them instead !

Jennifer said...

Oh wow. I am never gone through this. My hubby raised a longhorn when he was growing up and had to sell him right before leaving home for school. They were supposed to keep him and not kill him. We really don't know what happened to him. I don't think I could ever kill an animal that I raised. It would be too hard on me. If we ever are able to move out to the country I would love to raise chickens only for eggs, though.

Kara said...

The only animal we have raised for meat so far are pigs and I made sure I did not think of them as cute or a pet in any way. The meat is so much better and it feels good to feed your family healthy home humainly raised meat. However, that is why I am refusing to get a cow, I think I would get attached. I also raise sheep and know at some point I will run out of fiber and breeding homes for all my ram lambs...currently I have a ram that I adore that has a "fatal" horn due to an accident with the fence as a lamb. I am torn whether it is better to put him in our own freezer where I know that every moment of his life he was cared for, loved, and treated with compassion, or do I sell him to someone else to put on their table. I don't know which is better or easier. I have a vet coming soon, I hope she comes up with a solution to save him from his own horn so I don't have to decide.

Heidi said...

It is tough, we have a small farm, and so far we haven't had to make the decision for any of the larger animals. But we have for chickens and ducks. It is hard every time, and I think it should be. But at the end of the day I would rather eat something I raised, that I know lived a good, happy life than buy meat from the store, and support the horrors that go on for that.

Chickenista said...

Thank you all for your comments and advice. It's a tough one for sure.

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