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good use for dead raccoon

 
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This was inspired by the PEP Badge Bit: https://permies.com/wiki/147801/pep-animal-care/Offal-animal-system-input-animals
(It doesn't qualify, because the badge bit specifies domestic on both sides.)
We lost a *lot* of birds this year from raccoon predation so we've had to thin the local population in the hope they'd get the message and not target our birds. However it bothers me that I didn't have a better use than composting them. The Badge Bit inspired me to use them as chicken feed. Due to the high pathogen load (based on info from the local "Wild Ark" people and a neighbor who feels that humans shouldn't consume them), I decided to pressure cook them before using them as chicken feed.  Here are some pictures of the results.
coon-to-be-cooked.JPG
I think I overcooked it, but I'll do better next time.
I think I overcooked it, but I'll do better next time.
want-a-treat.JPG
a bowl for our 4 week old meat chickens
a bowl for our 4 week old meat chickens
looks-good.JPG
looks good
looks good
tastes-good-too.JPG
tastes good too
tastes good too
good-protein-for-some-older-molting-hens.JPG
I'm much happier composting it after it goes though "chicken processing".
I'm much happier composting it after it goes though "chicken processing".
 
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I may get around to trying this soon, but so far just been putching the road-killed ones I pick up in a maggot bucket and letting chooks eat those as they fall down to ground. They love those.

WushI had a pickup. Open bed would be better for picking up roadkill. I have an SUV and it's riskier with them inside. To my olfactory sense that is.  Maybe pathogens too.
 
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Raccoons are surprisingly tasty, i usually grind the meat up and make burgers, it is kinda fatty but when grilled it drips off anyways.
 
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I had a chicken die on me and I didn't notice until I smelled something in the bushes.  She was dripping with maggots.  Carried her back into the woods with a long pitchfork but there must have been thousands of maggots on her.  The other hens hadn't noticed or were staying away to pay their respects.

Is it "wrong" to use a chicken in a maggot bucket to make maggots to feed chickens?  I never thought of it before but with the maggots as the intermediate species, does that make it ok or still cannibalism?

Bonus note:  Someone once told me to put the dead raccoon in a holey maggot bucket and cover it with straw to keep the smell down.  I imagine sawdust would work even better...
 
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So I'm curious,  what happened with the pelt?
 
Jay Angler
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Mike Haasl wrote:

Is it "wrong" to use a chicken in a maggot bucket to make maggots to feed chickens?

It's not recommended. When I researched Black Soldier Flies which may or more probably not been the type of maggots you had, one researcher *very* pointedly suggested an intermediate species. Chicken - Black soldier flies - fish, sort of idea. It is quite possible that the micro-biology of a chicken would not be killed by the larvae, just like Malaria isn't killed by hanging out in a mosquito before moving on to a human. They generally figure that by the time it goes through a very different species, like fish, it shouldn't be a problem. If you then fed the fish to a new lot of larvae, those larvae seemed to be deemed safe for chickens.

William Bronson wrote:

So I'm curious,  what happened with the pelt?

I did not take the time to remove the pelt before cooking, but hair's pretty inert, so most of the hair was put in a bucket as I unloaded the cooker and was put in the compost along with any of the larger bones. I had debated leaving the bones aside for making biochar, but I wasn't working in an easily controlled place with a useful thing like a table, so I gave up on that. Has anyone put hair in a biochar TLUD or similar?

In a perfect world, harvesting the bulk of the hide and processing it for leather would be an improvement. However, that is one more project I don't have a good spot for, and my limited experience used a technique I wouldn't try again. More recent reading suggests something referred to a "brain tanning" would be the better way to go on a small scale, and I'd still need a better set-up as I have small, not too strong hands with some arthritis.

It's also on my list if I can get the Himalayan Blackberry out of the way, to build a hugel on one edge of the property. Has anyone entombed dead animals around the wood? Would it just encourage more rats/mice to be digging/living in the hugel? I'm not overly concerned about rats, because a friend of mine (see picture below taken yesterday) is helping out with non-toxic rodent control, but if the rodents destabilize the soil on the hugel it would be harder to get plants established.

I'd like to thank all the members who gave me thumbs ups - I was worried I might have gotten the reverse. I lost a lovely 3 year-old goose to raccoon this spring, pulled through chicken wire which is going to be upgraded to stronger wire permanently, so in my mind, fair is fair. Raccoon are *not* endangered in this region. If I have to manage their population, I'd like to find ways to do so responsibly and get as much benefit from doing so as possible.
owl-4.JPG
On rodent duty all afternoon/evening yesterday!
On rodent duty all afternoon/evening yesterday!
 
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LOL...I see evolved velociraptors wreaking their revenge!
 
William Bronson
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I was wondering if you fed it to the chooks.
I have found my chickens don't really tear apart carcasses on their own, I always end up  burying the body and they eat the resulting bugs.
Weird idea,  I wonder how the skin would do as a weed suppressant....
 
Jay Angler
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William Bronson wrote:Weird idea,  I wonder how the skin would do as a weed suppressant....

I've heard of people using sheep's wool as mulch - it's supposed to deter slugs. I'd be worried that using a fresh hide might attract unwanted carnivores, although it might discourage certain herbivores which I wouldn't mind. Parts of animals I need to dispose of I tend to wrap in lots of "browns" like sawdust, leaves or paper, and bury in the middle of an active compost pile. That's been OK in small quantities, but a couple of adult coons is pushing the limit, considering another friend already added deer guts to it (I didn't want them going in the landfill!) So I was already looking around for alternatives and decided to suggest chicken feed and a friend who's had chickens for years was immediately in favor of it.

However, having never done this before, figuring out the easiest and over-all fastest way to do it is going to be trial and error. I thought that just chucking them in whole would be easy, but without a way to support them to chop them up a little after the fact, it's been tiring, messy, and more time-consuming than I would like. It is quite possible that doing a little more chopping up before they go in the pot would actually make the job overall faster and easier. Alternatively, I need a better work surface at a healthy back height so I can slide the carcass out of the cooker and onto a stable table for parceling it out. Most of my chickens hang in 10 to 20 "family groups", so I don't want to just toss a whole raccoon to them. That said, the flocks that have been getting a portion of coon have figured out it is desirable chow and are showing plenty of interest if they think I've got some for them!
 
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Jay Angler wrote:

William Bronson wrote:Weird idea,  I wonder how the skin would do as a weed suppressant....


I've heard of people using sheep's wool as mulch - it's supposed to deter slugs. I'd be worried that using a fresh hide might attract unwanted carnivores, although it might discourage certain herbivores which I wouldn't mind.









When ever i put sheep skins out, usually they create some maggots for a week or so. I try to get these to the chickens with a shovel.

When i mulch plants with the fur and hide, eventually it gets taken away by ravens to be used as a nest, i am assuming. I like the idea of using it as a mulch, however it seems to be taken away within a year. I would think leaving the hide one whole piece would make it more difficult for them to take it away. Small bits would be easy to grab and take away.
 
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Ahh,  a thread I can sink my teeth into…..I hope I’m not wandering too far from the point if I add, “what to do with a dead squirrel”!

I have a house with a roof of heavy, clay tiles.  For 20 years there was never a problem.  But then one day a squirrel figured out how to chew some of the facia and get underneath the tiles to build a nest.  And he taught his whole family so I was in for a heap of trouble.  Then one day a squirrel was squashed dead on the road in front of my house and I had a eureka moment.  I tenderly gathered his limp body, went up the ladder, lifted the second tile up at a roof corner, lay out his bushy tail and let the tile fall down on top of it.  He was firmly anchored with a good view of the entire yard.  And live squirrels were avoiding him!!!  I kept a look-out on local streets and pretty soon I had a recumbent sentry on each corner of the roof.

I was very pleased with myself!  I had cleaned the streets so little kids didn’t have to look at the gore.  It was a cheap solution to say the least.  I had the whole recycle/reuse thing covered.  There was a perverse justice in having dead squirrels guard my roof from the live buggers.  And my family was outraged which is always fun – though seriously, they couldn’t tell me exactly why it was wrong…..

Everything was just great until a few weeks later some kind of hawk found my roof and removed my dessicated sentries.  I couldn’t keep a dead squirrel around anywhere after that…..

Razer
 
Jay Angler
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@Ray Sauder - Not exactly the point, but close enough - the hawks are probably much happier swiping dead squirrels from the roof-top than the road, and if it teaches them to kill and eat squirrels, I'd really appreciate you sending them up to my Island for their summer holidays as I've heard more people complaining about squirrel trouble this year than in past years. That said, if you kill them safely, there was a squirrel stew recipe in our local paper and I believe they're sufficiently "vegetarian" to be considered safe eating for humans as well as for hawks.
 
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About ten years ago I boiled a fox for the chickens. I built a quickie fire ring of bricks and my mother and I watched the fire until the pot boiled. By then we had had enough smoke and bugs, so I put out the fire and we went inside. The next morning I served my chickens Boiled Fox (now cooled) Soup. I took a stick and poked at the fur. The birds realized I was exposing food... they took it from there. The only big surprise for me were the wild grapes that the fox had eaten.

I considered it payback after the foxes had massacred most of my flock the year before. But that is a different, less positive story.

I did enjoy the squirrels under the roof tiles story. I will share all these stories with Mom when I call her tomorrow!
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