It was butchering day today. Cool enough that you don’t have to worry too much about meat spoilage but not so cold that you can’t effectively use your fingers. Three geese went to their Eternal Reward and boy is the yard quieter for it.
When we got the geese, the intention was to have some predator protection for the ducks. Raccoons have been the biggest problem and we felt the geese would solve that. Wrong. LG’s theory is that the geese were actually on the raccoon’s side. After moving the adult geese in with the ducks we lost a duck a day for a week. Not great odds – our worst losses ever, including when they were free ranging and refusing to come in at night. Given that, the huge noise the geese make right outside our bedroom window (unless noise, not “hey there’s something important going on out here” noise) and the massive amounts of food they ingest coupled with the fact that they’d begun to pick on the chickens, the rabbits and terrorize the ducks they were supposed to be protecting, it was time for them to go.
Having been warned by a friend about the effort made to pluck one of her geese (one of the original batch ours came from), the gross amount of time for a relatively small amount of meat the consistency of shoe leather, we opted for parcelling out. As geese and ducks are structurally nearly identical (except their necks) and we knew that ducks have very little meat except the breast and sometimes the drumsticks, we decided to filet out those parts and offer the rest to the Earth. It’s a chore that’s been wanting for a while but after the behaviour yesterday (not letting the ducks anywhere near the food) I decided that was that.
So now I have a bunch of goose meat cooling in the fridge and no real ideas what to make with it. I suspect I’ll look up some old recipes and slow cook it – maybe with wine and garlic. It looks like it will be strong flavoured. I haven’t had goose for years – at least five – and I’ve never cooked it.
It’s another one of the things that has to be done when you’re farming – even on a small scale. When things don’t work out you remedy them and sometimes that means someone’s going to die. But you can never waste. I think it is so wrong to take an animal – one that is edible – and waste it. So, they’ll go to good use. Even if the meat is to strong for us, our sheep protector Great Pyr will love the treat and it would be a healthy supplement to her meals that I don’t have to pay for.