Today started like any other WWOOF day. Wake up, have a leisurely breakfast and get to work. Today’s task was to clean the windows! Didn’t seem like too much of a challenge, until three hours later when we were still cleaning windows! What a doozy! Who knew my arms could get so tired from wiping windows over and over. Wax on. Wax off. I felt like I was being intensely trained by Mr Miyagi. Anyway, it kept us so busy this morning that we only heard the shot that put the old diseased doe and the second shot that took out one of her young stags.
Earlier in the week we had herded goats down into a lower paddock. This afternoon they were being picked up by a farmer with a caged trailer and moved to another paddock across the road. A much greener pasture. After we finished a delicious lunch of roasted carrot and parsnip soup, Eamonn and I headed down to met with the farmer who was helping our host out. The farmer backed his trailer up against the ramp and it was then our job to goad them in the right direction and up the ramp. Eamonn’s job according to the farmer was “You’ve got to be O’Driscoll. No missed tackles”! (He was in charge of making sure no goats escaped the funneling process.
Releasing the goats into the new pasture wasn’t a problem.The goats were giddy and skipping with pleasure as the began to gorge themselves on new leaves.
Our next task was an unexpected task.
While we had missed the gutting and loading of the two dead deer onto the trailer (Jeremy and the neighbor who shot the deer. Clemence stayed well away from the whole scene- can’t blame her), it was now our job to take that trailer and follow the goat farmer to his house where he would dispose of the old doe and prepare the young buck for the butchers shop. This was all news to us! I got behind the wheel of the old manual and managed to not kill us all while towing a trailer along gravel farm roads. I was a bit nervous about shifting with my other hand, but it really wasn’t a problem, just a matter of doing it.
Once we pulled up to the farmers barns, it was up to Eamonn to help lug the deer around. First the two of them pulled the stag out of the trailer and the farmer removed the bucks head. Our host wants it or the antlers for something, we aren’t sure. Then they dragged it into whats called the “kill shed”, which is a little room with a hook and levers and cement floor. The farmer hung the buck up and let it drain. It was an interesting sight. I helped hose the blood into a corner for easier clean up. Then we shut the door. The buck has to stay like that for a few days and be skinned before it can go to the butcher.
Next Eamonn and the farmer transferred the old doe from our trailer to the farmers. He was going to drive it up to his offal pit and dump it. She was too old and sick to be used for meat of any kind.
Then we headed home. An interesting and unexpected experience.