18 November 2010

Deer Season!

You know it is deer season at my home when the backyard is filled with bones and sometimes larger uneaten portions of deer.

Got head?
A few days before my first surgery I got a call from my uncle about a large buck that had been hit recently near his house. He told me it was quite large and had only been dead a few hours. He has supplied me with venison before and also hates to see anything go to waste, so he called me and suggested it would make great dog food. Now I have never fed my dogs roadkill, but this sounded too good to let go.

Shaman going to town

So this buck was not technically part of deer season, but I've already starting getting set up to receive more meat, bones and organs for myself and the dogs. In the past the dogs tend to eat 95% of the venison I get, but this year I hope to get enough that I can fully supply the dogs for some time while also providing quite a bit for myself. I've not cooked either the heart or liver of a deer, so I look forward to trying that this winter.

Cyprus examining her dinner.
In regards to how much, or what, to feed the dogs I really cannot say. I tend to know approximately how much to feed from experience and tend to view their dietary intake over a week rather than day to day. So I give them various amounts and make sure they never get too skinny or too fat. But what parts of the deer do I not feed them... I usually let them tell me. I've give them a week, sometimes two, to let me know if they will or will not eat something. In the case of throwing a whole head out on my deck, I still fed them regularly, but would let them eat to satiety by gnawing away on the head. Great exercise for them and amazing at cleaning their teeth!

I imagine this is a bit disgusting for some people. But as an advocate of nose to tail eating I will gladly argue the benefits of them eating something like this versus industrial meat or kibble (bleh).