This is rated-material, because the pictures are a little graphic.
I spent the day processing the deer – somewhat. I hung the deer which was at the limit of the weight I could manage, using a ratchet tie down, and also some clothesline, to pull it up.
Since I had removed the intestine yesterday evening, I focused on getting the organs out of the deer, and removing the hide which I can hopefully process for dog leashes, gloves, shoes, and maybe make a drum.
I took the organs out, washing everything, and then made a marinade to soak the chopped up kidney, liver, heart, tongue and lungs in with some garlic, onions, parsley, mustard, a carrot, a little salt, pepper, oil and a beer.
In a while, I will cook it, maybe trying to process everything in a food processor (that I don’t have), and make pate with it. A little meat came off with the hide, and I scraped this significantly, then washed it, cooked it, and tasted it with my and my friend’s dogs – one little piece for everyone.
Right now, the deer is hanging outside after being washed with a hose. It is not in rigor mortis, I guess that was over by the time I picked it up, although one leg was still a little stiff. Still working on what to do with the hooves, and I think the brain can be used to process the hide, but I might need some other chemicals, too.
The vegetables from seed have started in the beds – cukes, winter squash, tomatoes, and cauliflower. A few of the lettuce look like they survived the transplant, and the cabbage, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts appear to be doing well. Only the carrots and beans aren’t producing, and they still may. Some of the potatoes have started to chit in the bag. I will make some corn chowder tonight, and plant some of the eyes tomorrow.
Update: 60 hours later
After hanging the deer and cooking the organs, it rained for a couple of days. The rain washed the deer, and I could see some areas of the meat in better condition than others.
The deer is hanging in the shade, but the temperature rises to 80F during the day. So, with the flies and bees, and the fact that it makes the backyard not really available for the dogs, I decided to go ahead and process everything.
I carved out most of the meat, soaking it in water in the wheelbarrow, and removing any parts that looked a little brown (about 1 lb of meat around the intestinal and inner thigh area).
I saved this, microwaving it for 2 minutes, and then froze it. I will use it last in the event of lack of any other meat. The rest of the meat looked pretty good and pink.
I separated the ribs, and all of the bones, boiling them in 3 batches for the dogs.
The meat was divided into 4 different grades: grade 1 no problems noted, grade 2 some black dots sometimes (point of impact tiny hemorrhages?), grade 3 some darkening or high density of tendons (probably dog food), grade 4 possible evidence of starting to spoil (about 1-2 pounds worth microwaved for a couple of minutes, and then frozen).
It came to 19 lbs of meat in 25 bags, that I froze raw, plus a dish of steak that I ate (pretty delicious no gamey taste at all),
plus the bones (that I froze), and the broth that I will mix with rice for the dogs.
The only thing I haven’t yet used is the head and the 4 hooves.
The dogs got to practice “wait” and “ok” for their bones.
There is a pretty heated debate about dogs eating bones. My friend only uses raw meat and bones for her dogs. There is a whole community out there that believes in this. Her dogs live a long time, and are in great shape. I have fostered and raised over 30 dogs, and they have all eaten cooked bones for years, which are less sharp than the raw ones. I have never ever had a problem with this, although I am told there is a chance that there might be a problem. Most wild dogs and coyotes eat raw meat. Most domestic dogs have evolved from dogs that ate the thrown out cooked bones from human meals before they had dog food. I tried raw bones with one of my dogs once, and the dog threw up a bunch of sharp splinters. He wasn’t used to it, and plus, I don’t like the way it makes their breath smell. With cooked bones, if the dog eats a lot of them (like spare ribs), they might be a little constipated the next day. A little Magnesium Chloride as a laxative will help them pass the stool which will contain tiny white undigested bone particles. My dogs love cooked bones, but they are generally a treat and not an everyday item.