Remember I posted this? blog post groundhog captured.
On the 15th I prepped the first groundhog. I had it frozen for 6months.. I didn't gut it before freezing because it was warm and flies would been a issue also wasps too. Certain wasps love meat. I find them on coyote left overs a lot.
Even though the weather was cold I worked hard and was successful on prepping the animal to be safe for Saya to eat..
I was able to get the stomach and intestines out no problem. I also skinned it I was going to keep the skin on and just cut it into managable pieces as Saya has eaten rabbits with fur and quail with feathers.
Then I thought I'd attempt to tan the hide since the fur is very nice. I'll probably use it for scent tracking training and flirt pole toy I dunno.
I've caught another groundhog besides this one it's still in the freezer. Right now it's too cold to do any long time outside stuff. It's 7F right now high it is supposed to get during the day is 26F.
I don't remember the temperature on the 15th of January I know it was cold and windy, but not as cold as 7F..
I think it was at least 36F or maybe 40F hard to tell, but it was windy so dealing with the wind and prepping stuff outside was a lot of work.. I could have done it in the garage, but It was better outside since I had more light to see.
I weighed all the individual parts after portioning it and they weigh 7lbs. I didn't weigh the hide and fur plus with the stomach and intestines out I think it's final weight would been at least 8 or 9lbs maybe even 10lbs. I kinda wished I weighed before ah well.
She wore collar, bell and bandana too just in case.
The big clear plastic lid I used during when I took the stomach and intestines out Luckily I got it all out without the stuff leaking or anything. I also got the bladder out too.
I put the guts in the orange bucket. Then used the white lid in middle to work on skinning it.
The white lid one the left of the picture I put the legs, arms and stuff on so I had room while working on it.
Once I got everything off I took the meat inside and washed it really good just with water.. And placed in zip lock bags. I made it so the two legs and arms froze individually and bagged the ribcage, back end in separate zip lock bags.
|all items frozen and ready to be put into big freezer.|
During prepping Saya got a bit of meat and fat she seemed to like it and when I went to get different knife for skinning and portioning things.
I let Saya drink up the blood in it. I also gave her tiny bit of the liver. She also got a egg too for her meal of the day.
She ate a bit of the bone and small bit of meat and skin then she didn't want it.
January 18th I offered it again she only ate 1oz of it. So I put back in the fridge to try again before bed and she didn't want it so I put it back.
Jaunuary 19th I offered again this time put fish oil to see if it would help she just licked it and ate some of the skin.
I then went cook tiny bit of the meat on both sides. Just enough to cook it a little, but not enough to fully cook it or cook the bone.
After that she ate 1oz or so of it. I gave her some caned dog food after that for some extra.
I then put the 4 or 3oz of leg back in the freezer for next week.
She acted same way when she got her first whole quail I gotten from hare today. After eating the first quail she was hooked and ate without me holding it.
She again acted same way with rabbit she would prod it, bite and push on it like she is trying to figure out if it's food or not..
First rabbit I had to take some skin off for her to figure that out.
She did seem more into it by the end of the third meal of the same groundhog leg.
I plan to feed the legs and arms first as they're easier to thaw and smaller.
I might portion the back end again to make it smaller. The back end has the femur and some of the spine plus the meat and fat covering it.
I'd head groundhog is very fatty animal and yeah it goes seem to have a lot of fat especially on the back, but it is easily trimmed I think.
I don't bother trimming the fat as a little fat is good plus she isn't eating pure fat, but a mix of meat and fat..
Saya has eaten whole rabbits and quail with fur and feathers.
Feeding whole prey like quail, rabbits and so on is a different level compared to normal raw feeding.
I mean feeding a whole rabbit makes this look more appealing to a dog owner who feeds kibble..
|3.32oz of cornish hen quarter and 2.86oz of beef heart.|
I've coarse have run out of whole quail long time ago which I plan to order more and some of their whole rabbits too.
The whole rabbits I feed Saya is babies or older juveniles that Saya has caught.
I just need room in the freezer. I still have the pig head to feed plus the groundhogs once I get rid of those items I should have room for a hare today order. I plan to get decent amount so the quail and rabbits will last me for awhile. I try to feed whole prey once a month if I have it sometimes two times a month.
I figure what if I relocate them somewhere I thought was remote enough, but the two goes finds a land with garden and set up home. The home owner might poison the groundhog or worse set a trap. Not a live trap kind.. I don't know if those traps kills the critter humanely or quickly. I know traps for coyotes seem pretty much like torture.
I'm not fond of things that cause prolong pain or longer time to death. Even coyotes deserve a quick humane death not leg caught in a snare or trap.
Or a farm dog finding the two groundhogs and killing them or something.
While I prefer to live in harmony with animals I don't have enough money to be buying pepper spray or heavy duty fencing to prevent damage to veggies.
Pepper spray did not work for the groundhog.
I have coyotes, raccoons, opossums, badger and even weasel on my land none have bothered me enough to warrant getting rid of. I've been lucky Never had issue with opossum or raccoon probably since I keep the trash locked and no food is ever left outside.
I did have juvenile raccoons eating my pears, but Saya chasing them up the pear tree was enough they stayed far away after that. I even checked at night.
I enjoy wild life and love learning about it and looking at tracks and finding out it's a skunk or badger it's fun thing.
I'm lucky coyotes are very cautious where I live and have never bothered me. Though at night they have come close to the house I seen evidence of a coyote kill as there is rabbit fur laying by the bush or by the flower garden.
For night potty breaks I always bring a flash light and stick just in case.
Stick is probably not enough to protect myself, but seems like a pain to bring a gun with me every night..
Coarse we never hang outside at night for long unless we are at the camp site roasting marshmellows and hot dogs. We have both Bella and Saya with us and it's usually me and mom or me, mom and dad. When my brother was up here he'd join in too.
Coyotes are vocal canines and I do think Saya knows to stay the F away from them as she sticks very close at night time and she has a concerned look to her when she hears them yodeling, howling and yipping.
The night I gutted the groundhog I cleaned all my stuff in the garage and Saya hanged out with me she wandered around a bit and then she wandered back by my side and stayed near while I finished up. I then heard coyotes howling in the distance sounded like they were in the crop field which was pretty far from my house. Coarse coyotes can run pretty fast.
I had her on long leash so Saya couldn't leave the garage, but she had fun exploring the garage and checking the wood pile for mice.
I do know coyotes are dangerous and can do very much harm to humans and dogs. I never let Saya off the leash at night.
I do feel country coyotes are more cautious of humans then their city counterparts. Every time I have encountered one they would stop a bit look then hightail it away. Most times they'd be running off before I saw them.
I still yell at them as they run I figure it would help enforce that humans sound scary..
One hand I probably should have relocated the groundhog another I'm fine with it.
I mean one groundhog provides enough food to feed for a long time two even longer.
I'm sure it's good nutritionally too. Wolves or coyotes would eat groundhog if they could.
Nothing went to waste either the skin will be tanned once I prepped the second ground hog and everything except the stomach and intestinal tract will be eaten by Saya.
|Saya digging in the dirt|