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Would you eat this dead calf?

Chocobroc

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I have some Herefords which I bought privately in early November. They were bred to an angus bull. First calf came without any help on Dec 31 and seemed healthy and to be sucking. On the 5th day I found him dead --yes it had snowed and he was frozen. I was surprised because he seemed to be doing well. I am new to beef, but have raised other ruminents and a milk cow. I opened him up and found no evidence of trauma, no pus, but his L kidney had a lot of surface petechia, and there was a lot of straw clear fluid in the abdomen. No unusual odors at all. All the meat and organs otherwise appeared very healthy. So, for all the experts out there, any ideas why he might have died and is he edible? Thank-you and really appreciating all the good info here.
 

dun

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I might feed him to the dog or better yet the coyotes. But I sure wouldn;t eat him. Not much meat to make it worth while and I'm just leery of eating something that I don;t know how or why it died.
 

TennesseeTuxedo

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Chocobroc":1oy6fmka said:
I have some Herefords which I bought privately in early November. They were bred to an angus bull. First calf came without any help on Dec 31 and seemed healthy and to be sucking. On the 5th day I found him dead --yes it had snowed and he was frozen. I was surprised because he seemed to be doing well. I am new to beef, but have raised other ruminents and a milk cow. I opened him up and found no evidence of trauma, no pus, but his L kidney had a lot of surface petechia, and there was a lot of straw clear fluid in the abdomen. No unusual odors at all. All the meat and organs otherwise appeared very healthy. So, for all the experts out there, any ideas why he might have died and is he edible? Thank-you and really appreciating all the good info here.

:welcome: to CT.

Where are you located? The answer as to why your calf died is open to much speculation.
 

Chocobroc

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Thanks Tenn Tuxedo. I am in MO about 50 mis N of Springfield. Yes, I've been speculating and researching much. Among the most common causes I could think of is just that the poor little thing wasn't getting as much milk as I thought and froze to death. Being the practical sort and wanting to know why, I opened him up and butchered him. It's sitting in the fridge now waiting for a decision: dogs or me :D
 

farmerjan

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To be on the safe side, I would say dogs. I don't like to waste things, but since he was 5 days old, I would be cautious about eating him. We did butcher a calf that was born and died within 24 hours and the little bit of meat was like white veal. But he had a deformed leg and I think his lungs were also compromised. One thing I would do; get the cow up in a chute and milk her and see if she has decent milk in her udder. If not then yes he probably died from starvation and the cold. Had an angus cow that we bought. Had a calf, saw it with it's head up under her "sucking" and about a week later it was dead. Chalked it up to "just one of those things". Next year she had a calf, at a different pasture, saw it sucking, and figured it would be good. 3 days later the older lady, who owned the small farm that we rented from, called and said the calf looked weak. So I go up, get them in the catch pen, and the calf is weak. We got the cow in a catch and she had 3 dead quarters and some crappy junk in the fourth. NICE looking udder. So needless to say, the calf went on a bottle til one of the nurse cows calved, the cow went to town.
 

Chocobroc

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Thank you FarmerJan. Great advice. Will see if I can get the ornery girl up. (probably not going to give her another chance, though.) Pups will be eating pretty good for the next few days. Two votes against, and I doubted also, but just tempted thinking about calf liver and onions. :lol:
 

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