Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

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Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by Hpacres440p » Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:30 am

I have 2 calves, both about 18 months old, that we are planning to butcher in early February. One is a young bull, pretty calm, the other is a somewhat flighty steer-they havebeen raised together, so will have a “buddy system” to go. The processor is an hour away, and has drop off either day before by 6:30 pm or morning of before 8:30 am.
I will be calling processor for their best opinion to minimize stress and therefore maximize beef quality, but does anyone else have experience with either scenario? The processor only does about 8 head per slaughter day, so shouldn’t be too overcrowded hopefully.



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Re: Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by Ebenezer » Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:00 pm

Take them the day of slaughter.

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Re: Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by sstterry » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:41 am

Hpacres440p wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:30 am
I have 2 calves, both about 18 months old, that we are planning to butcher in early February. One is a young bull, pretty calm, the other is a somewhat flighty steer-they havebeen raised together, so will have a “buddy system” to go. The processor is an hour away, and has drop off either day before by 6:30 pm or morning of before 8:30 am.
I will be calling processor for their best opinion to minimize stress and therefore maximize beef quality, but does anyone else have experience with either scenario? The processor only does about 8 head per slaughter day, so shouldn’t be too overcrowded hopefully.
First, welcome to the Board! You should go to the "Hi! I'm new here" thread and introduce yourself.

Second, bot to you and the rest of the Board, how does stress the day of slaughter affect the quality of the meat?

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Re: Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by Dave » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:44 am

I would take them the day before to allow them time to calm down from their trip. I know that at the two big kill plants in this region the cattle come in the day before.

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Re: Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:15 am

Welcome to the boards. As you already can see - we are farmers - very independent in our thinking - so you get lots of different opinions/ideas. Personally, I think as long as the two get to stay together, they should be fine either day.
sstterry - Stress causes the animal to produce Adrenalin which can cause a dark cutter. I don't know all the ramifications being a dark cutter is, but I know it is not good!!!
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Re: Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by 76 Bar » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:17 am

Agree with Dave. What you might consider the most minor life disruptions will negatively cattle and especially those who are antsy. I would also request the two not be separated prior to slaughter to avoid additional stress. Trust me, even docile cattle can become unhinged at a slaughter plant. In the future and if available, skilled ranch mobile slaughter is ideal.

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Re: Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by bird dog » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:51 pm

So a cow gets stressed. How long a period from the stress point to when it effects the meat?

I took a steer in last week. Like it sometimes happens they know it ain't going to be good and they refuse to get out of the trailer. The only way we got him out was to run another cow from the plant into the pen that I was backed up to. I know he was going to be processed very quickly but should I be concerned?

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Re: Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by Hpacres440p » Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:33 pm

76 Bar wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:17 am
Agree with Dave. What you might consider the most minor life disruptions will negatively cattle and especially those who are antsy. I would also request the two not be separated prior to slaughter to avoid additional stress. Trust me, even docile cattle can become unhinged at a slaughter plant. In the future and if available, skilled ranch mobile slaughter is ideal.
Mobile slaughter sounds great-wish we had that option. Just finding a reliable processor has been a challenge-some were booking for Marchnin October! Question about the mobile-do they haul off the offal or do they leave it at the slaughter site?

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Re: Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by 76 Bar » Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:19 pm

For inquiring minds...Search the web for dark cutters, the cause and why it should be avoided.

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Re: Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by HanknCali » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:59 pm

Question about the mobile-do they haul off the offal or do they leave it at the slaughter site?
[/quote]

Our ranch butcher takes whatever you don’t want. The only thing he does leave is the stomach contents. Hide, head, hooves, organs etc all goes with him unless you want it.

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Re: Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by sstterry » Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:54 am

76 Bar wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:19 pm
For inquiring minds...Search the web for dark cutters, the cause and why it should be avoided.
The way I read it, this is not the immediate stress before slaughter, but long term stress that reduces glycogen. Is that correct or am I reading wrong?

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Re: Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:13 am

quote:
"Adrenaline released by stress before slaughter uses up glycogen, which means there's not enough lactic acid produced postmortem. This affects different kind of meat in different ways, but in general it'll be tough, tasteless, and high in pH, and will go bad quicker than unstressed meat.Oct 30, 2015"
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Re: Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by sstterry » Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:16 am

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:13 am
quote:
"Adrenaline released by stress before slaughter uses up glycogen, which means there's not enough lactic acid produced postmortem. This affects different kind of meat in different ways, but in general it'll be tough, tasteless, and high in pH, and will go bad quicker than unstressed meat.Oct 30, 2015"
But, by definition, when any animal is taken to slaughter, don't they get stressed?

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Re: Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by Silver » Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:36 am

When I take mine in they get unloaded and pretty much straight to slaughter. Always seemed like the best idea to me, but that may not be the case. In my mind there will always be a certain amount of stress to cattle in strange to them facilities surrounded by strange cattle, so less time should equal less stress.
I used to slaughter them myself and take the quarters to the butcher, and really that has got to be the best in terms of stress on the animal.

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Re: Taking to the butcher-day before or day of slaughter

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:00 am

My guy shoots them on my trailer.
I don't think the little stress they get when they are being shipped affects the meat like if they are really wild cattle and are stressed from the minute you walk in the field to catch them!! Those that are jumping fences & bouncing off walls are more the type to be "dark cutters" IMHO.
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