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Dark Cutters

Jogeephus

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A friend and I had a discussion about high strung cattle sometimes being dark cutters when they are butchered and we got to wondering. Does anyone know how long it would take for an animal to remain calm to reverse this once an animal is worked up? Hours or days? Just wondering.
 

angie1

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The following is geared toward people, but it is very much the same physical process that cattle go through. It confirms what I have been told ~ that this is a temporary state, the body (any body) could not maintain this level for long. Hope it helps.

/www.ehow.com/
An adrenaline rush (also called the fight-or-flight response) is caused by a hormone release from the adrenal gland. The hormone release consists of 80 percent epinephrine (also called adrenaline) and 20 percent norepinephrine. It is the body's natural coping reaction for activities or environmental situations that are exhilarating, stressful or physically demanding.

When epinephrine and norepinephrine are released into the body, your body's airways and large blood vessels dilate to funnel larger amounts of oxygen, glucose and blood to the respiratory system, muscles and brain. This hormone release also increases your heart rate and blood-sugar levels, improving the body's performance for the short term. Those experiencing adrenaline rushes typically feel temporarily stronger, faster and more tolerant of pain.

While the stress response is an important part of managing fear and excitement, an adrenaline rush can produce feelings of anxiety, tension and panic---also part of the body's fight-or-flight response. That's why it's important to allow your body to work off the hormones released during an adrenaline rush. When you encounter a high-stress situation that does not include physical activity, you may be faced with lingering hormones that cause jittery, anxious or sleepless feelings. After dealing with high amounts of adrenaline-producing stress, take a walk, go for a jog or engage in deep-breathing exercises until the hormones leave your system.

The duration of an adrenaline rush varies by person and situation. Typically, the epinephrine and norepinephrine triggered during fight-or-flight are metabolized as the body deals with the physically demanding situation. When the threat is resolved, the body begins to return to its normal state. However, as mentioned above, you may need to exercise in order to metabolize remaining hormones and decrease lingering feelings of panic.
 

larryshoat

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Jogeephus":238ebf82 said:
A friend and I had a discussion about high strung cattle sometimes being dark cutters when they are butchered and we got to wondering. Does anyone know how long it would take for an animal to remain calm to reverse this once an animal is worked up? Hours or days? Just wondering.

Jogee, did you get one that was a dark cutter? At one time we were hooked in with a local grocery chain (8 stores plus retail sales at the packing house), we delivered about 500 fats a year and I never remember them ever saying anything about dark cutters. I don't know whether they didn't get any or just didn't say anything about it.

Larry
 

Jogeephus

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Had one before but what we were discussing had to do with crazy calves that freak out when loaded or penned. What we were wondering was if one freaked out in the pen how long would it take it to calm down and get the adrenlen back to normal levels. Or will it - given Angies info - since the calf can't walk it off. We both agreed that it would probably be best to let the calf out to walk it off for a couple of days then drop it in the field but if this were not possible what do the butcher plants do to reduce this risk.
 

grannysoo

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I've been wondering about that too. I've still got Satan's Daughter penned up getting fed hard in anticipation of her ride down the road, and wonder how it's going to work out. I know she's going to go crazy when loaded into the trailer. Planning on a lot of hamburger from this one.
 

Lammie

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grannysoo":3ixjjfrg said:
I've been wondering about that too. I've still got Satan's Daughter penned up getting fed hard in anticipation of her ride down the road, and wonder how it's going to work out. I know she's going to go crazy when loaded into the trailer. Planning on a lot of hamburger from this one.

Well, I have Satan's Other Daughter and was wondering this, as well.
 

grannysoo

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Lammie":3k7m6l8y said:
grannysoo":3k7m6l8y said:
I've been wondering about that too. I've still got Satan's Daughter penned up getting fed hard in anticipation of her ride down the road, and wonder how it's going to work out. I know she's going to go crazy when loaded into the trailer. Planning on a lot of hamburger from this one.

Well, I have Satan's Other Daughter and was wondering this, as well.

Mine's worse than yours..... :mrgreen:
 

Lammie

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grannysoo":a3yrlbc2 said:
Lammie":a3yrlbc2 said:
grannysoo":a3yrlbc2 said:
I've been wondering about that too. I've still got Satan's Daughter penned up getting fed hard in anticipation of her ride down the road, and wonder how it's going to work out. I know she's going to go crazy when loaded into the trailer. Planning on a lot of hamburger from this one.

Well, I have Satan's Other Daughter and was wondering this, as well.

Mine's worse than yours..... :mrgreen:

Oh no, she's not. Mine jumped over a five foot pen and Steve's head, down the alley, around and through two chicken coops. Top that. :cowboy:
 

larryshoat

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Lammie":1d5o0rkq said:
grannysoo":1d5o0rkq said:
I've been wondering about that too. I've still got Satan's Daughter penned up getting fed hard in anticipation of her ride down the road, and wonder how it's going to work out. I know she's going to go crazy when loaded into the trailer. Planning on a lot of hamburger from this one.

Well, I have Satan's Other Daughter and was wondering this, as well.

That's whole thing, it's contradiction of terms to load and haul Satan's Daughter ( and theres plenty more just like her) without stress. The only way is like Jogee is talking about, drop her in her tracks. It does sound like we have enough for a small experiment, we can track the outcome of these 3 cattle and see what happens.

Larry
 

angie1

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Had two cows like this ~ they were dangerously crazy and high strung, predatory even. A local guy came over and dropped them where they stood in the field. One second they were eating, the next they were dead. I cannot even imagine that they could have been loaded without someone getting hurt bad or something getting busted up. Anyhow, they were field dressed, quartered and hauled to the locker. The meat was great ~ there was literally no stress prior to slaughter.

It takes an inordinate amount of stress to cause a chemical reaction such as they mention.
 

bigbull338

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they will be a dark cutter if they flippout before they are butchered.with them being highstrung they maybe a dark cutter anyway.
 

grannysoo

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grannysoo":21l9bwht said:
Lammie":21l9bwht said:
grannysoo":21l9bwht said:
I've been wondering about that too. I've still got Satan's Daughter penned up getting fed hard in anticipation of her ride down the road, and wonder how it's going to work out. I know she's going to go crazy when loaded into the trailer. Planning on a lot of hamburger from this one.



Mine's worse than yours..... :mrgreen:

Oh no, she's not. Mine jumped over a five foot pen and Steve's head, down the alley, around and through two chicken coops. Top that. :cowboy:

Oh yes she is! Mine jumped a 6 foot fence. Jumped over mine and Steve's head, tore down the alley, and bred all the chickens before going thru the coops. All the while, her head was spinning round and round and she was chanting something about her father Satan. :mrgreen:
 

ANAZAZI

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Last year I culled my charolais cows, they were top crazy, a little more than half as crazy as grannysoos crazy cow! The first one became a dark cutter so II thought carefully about what to do, and ended up killing them at home where the were fed. First I moved them away from the others along with a few trusty red cows, then I fed the crazy bastards for five days until the relaxed, and shot the worst one in the head using a rifle, and hauled her outside the pen using tractor and rope. I let it hang for a week, sold it in quarters and then went back for the next one. These were four in total and all were shot while feeding, never knowing what hit them. The blood came off them in an orderly fashon (away from the others) and meat was alright( for a char).
 

Jogeephus

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I think the key would be to let them calm down and drop them when they least expect it but I wonder how the big kill plants deal with this. Do you think they just deal with it and eat the loss or do you think they have some way of resorting them for a period of time? I imagine they run into quite a few.
 

mwj

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i had a big simxsh that was nuts when penned. I loaded her after a 20 min battle of wills :cboy: I delivered her to the locker at 6 in the evening and they killed her at 9 the next morning.
I stopped in after lunch to see if they had a rodeo! She went from the pen to the kill shoot at a high headed trot and was shot when she stopped.
She was not dark and was as good a grass fed as I ever ate. Sometimes you are fooled in a good way.
 

angie1

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Jogeephus":25ptr3cf said:
I wonder how the big kill plants deal with this. Do you think they just deal with it and eat the loss or do you think they have some way of resorting them for a period of time? I imagine they run into quite a few.
I would think that they just deal with it. As mentioned previously, it really takes a high level of perceived "crisis" to activate this response.

Given the herd mentality of cattle, I am thinking maybe that they adapt their level of agitation to that of other cattle in their environment (one reason why one idiot in a corral can upset the whole works ~ animals of prey are more likely to attend to and respond to an idiot, thinking that that animal is aware of a threat that they themselves have not yet identified, and go with the idiots reaction as a "just in case ..". It is a survival skill. Think of zebra's in a herd, very few (maybe just one) animal/s see the lion, yet the whole herd runs ----> "Why are we running?" "I don't know.....cause Joe and Curly started running....").

So in a slaughter house, while these high strung animals may remain "hyper alert" and "aware" ~ more so than the others (as in the case of maybe mwj's cow), they do not typically remain in a state of crisis. An adrenaline rush is not something that can be maintained, it serves an immediate purpose for an immediate circumstance. So yes, it happens, but not near as commonly as one might think, not so often that I would imagine that slaughter houses make allowances.

Maybe more than you wanted there....
 

mnmtranching

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Joe, seems like it would take a day or two. Maybe has to have a full stomach and laying contently chewing away.
Anytime wild critters are handled in any way they will be worked up. So any chance of getting them to slaughter without a nutz attack will not be possible.
Like mentioned, keep the critter with a pen mate, minimize human presence, sneak up one day [after 100 days on feed] take good aim [between eye and ear] from the side while it is enjoying feed. Drop it while it's happy, cut the juggler, hang it and enjoy good beef.
 

Lammie

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Well I am happy to report that mine's finally gone. Got hooked up with a guy with a good cutting horse and although it tool a few times around he got her. She's at Meridian this morning. Sale is today. Decided not to butcher her.
 
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