Farming Heroes

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Grantoliver

Guest
I didnt actually watch the program myself but I was told today that there was an episode of Jimmy Doherty’s Farming Heroes that had a piece on Red Deer farming.

My understanding is that it makes it clear that the quality of the meat is so much better without the stress inherant in factory farming. No stress = better meat.

There is a clip on youtube http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=HKej233os9E and thought it was of interest because stakling must provide us with the most organic stress free quality meat that money can buy.
 

Wingers243

Well-Known Member
It was quite interesting to see the efforts the farmer had gone to in an attempt reduce stress on the animals as much as possible. Part of the program detailed how Ph scale can be used as a measure of the stress the deer was under at the moment it was killed. Something to do with the production of acid within the muscles through the higher use of energy when under stress. (Perhaps Morena could give us a technical run down)

I thought at the time it would be interesting to compare the results of these farmed deer with several shot deer, perhaps with various shot placements and those deer that clearly did / did not know you were there prior to the shot being fired.

I would guess (and it is a guess) the deer with the lowest stress levels would be the one with a head / high neck shot that had no idea the stalker was there???
 

Claret_Dabbler

Well-Known Member
The farm in question is about 30 miles from here. I know the guy slighty. He is the real deal.

The venison is available in all the better restaurants here and is advertised as coming from that particular farm. It is very good, but a little bland as the deer are generally killed quite young. What he does deliver is a very consistent product which I suppose is what a lot of retailers want.
 

irishgun

Well-Known Member
Claret_Dabbler said:
The farm in question is about 30 miles from here. I know the guy slighty. He is the real deal.

The venison is available in all the better restaurants here and is advertised as coming from that particular farm. It is very good, but a little bland as the deer are generally killed quite young. What he does deliver is a very consistent product which I suppose is what a lot of retailers want.
i got a text and only came in on the end of it ,firstly i cull a lot of deer each year and have seen most things but i was not happy watch n the hinds been killed if they were shot on the hill no problems ,why i dont know .i have shot deer in a farm for a guy a few times its not a nice job .i would have to think a animal kill out right while stalking is buy far the better product .but unless you have culled it yourself you dont know
 

243varmint

Well-Known Member
What i couldn't get my head around our my wife is why did they not have 2 humane pistols instead of one ,the second hind that was slaughterd had to wait in the cubicl in so close proximetty to the other one , i would of thought her stress levels would of been up. Just my take on it rearly.
Jonathon
 

Claret_Dabbler

Well-Known Member
243varmint said:
What i couldn't get my head around our my wife is why did they not have 2 humane pistols instead of one ,the second hind that was slaughterd had to wait in the cubicl in so close proximetty to the other one , i would of thought her stress levels would of been up. Just my take on it rearly.
Jonathon

I agree. It did seem slow from one to the other. It may have been done in that way for the benefit of the cameras.

Some of the scenes where they were herding the stag into the hind enclosure at the Rut were wild.

There was a deer farmer killed by a stag here a couple of years ago.
 

joelewis1971

Well-Known Member
I Just watched the show on bbc i player should be there for the next few days for those of you who did not get the chance to see it .

Just put BBC I player in to google then search farm heros

Good show

Joe
 

morena

Well-Known Member
Hi Wingers243,
Here is your explanation.
As the deer go about their normal daily life they store glucose from their diet in the liver and the muscles as glycogen. This is used for energy when not eating. When they are stressed the level of a hormone called cortisol increases in the blood and more of the stored glycogen is used. ( like upping the thermostat on a boiler) Flight or fight response.
In the unstressed animal after death there is a lot of glycogen in the muscle and this is gradually used up in the absence of oxygen ( anaerobic metabolism ; heart and lungs not working) to form lactic acid . As this increases so the pH in the muscles falls to a value between 5.50- 5.90.
The stressed animal has already used up some of it's glycogen stores so there is less lactic acid formed. Thus pH stays up nearer 7 ( normal body pH 7.2). To use an abattoir term the meat doesn't set so well and is thus downgraded.
pH is interesting as works on logarithmic scale: take pH 7.0 as 1 pH 6.0 becomes 10 and pH 5.0 100. Thus the amount of glycogen to decrease the pH value increase dramatically the lower it gets.
The lactic acid level is responsible for maturing the meat.
Hope this answers your query.
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
As informative as ever, it certainly answers the ph question for me, knowing the reason why an unstressed deer is tastier than a stressed one, other than just knowing it is, it makes sense of the whole thing.

Thank you morena

John
 

buckup

Well-Known Member
Thanks for that Morena, always an interesting reply from you!
Would I be right in believing it would follow :-
An animal head shot which does not run, and does not use any of it's glycogen will produce the best meat?

I'm not sure I understand the bit about the lactic acid level maturing the meat.

Does this mean head shot = low lactic acid = longer needed to mature the meat, or,
head shot = low lactic acid = meat does not need so long to mature?

Thanks for your time (Sam doing just fine).
Mark
 
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Grantoliver

Guest
Hi Morena thats excellent thanks and it goes to show that the way that we bring food home to the table is likely to be result in the best meat. In terms of stress how could you possibly compare what we do to putting an animal on a wagon and driving it miles to a slaughter house. Excellent news for the stalking community.
 

morena

Well-Known Member
Hi Buckup,
Head shot no stress more lactic acid good maturing meat.
Lactic acid breaks down some of the muscle fibres so makes the meat more tender. It is also a natural flavour enhancer. It actually has an E number if artificially added to food E 270.
Pleased Sam is doing well will tell his family that.
m
 

paul k

Well-Known Member
I watched the programme on the iPlayer, there were some cracking stags on show at the farm. The time between the first hind getting stunned and the second hind was just less than 10 seconds and I wouldn't have thought that this was too bad. The lack of stress was evidenced by the pH readings taken post-slaughter.
 
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