The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: TheCaptain on May 16, 2012, 10:00:39 pm

Title: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: TheCaptain on May 16, 2012, 10:00:39 pm
... for the heads of their sheep, more specifically, just the skull and horns? Is it possible for the abbatoir to de-skin them and make them look less like my sheep if I did get them back?

Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: bigchicken on May 16, 2012, 10:45:37 pm
Witchcraft afoot me thinks. If you can get the head back let the maggots clean it up for you. lovely job. Can I be so bold as to ask whey ?.
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: woollyval on May 16, 2012, 10:48:30 pm
We have just had 2 sets of horns back...beautifully cleaned and bagged  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: Small Farmer on May 16, 2012, 11:21:38 pm
Is one of the sheep named John the Baptist?
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: Fleecewife on May 17, 2012, 12:33:09 am
It's easy enough to get the horns back, but the whole head is a different matter as it contains the brain which is Central Nervous System material so has to be incinerated.   I would love to have the head of the chap on the left, my avatar, when he finally shuffles off - he will go of natural causes but I think it might still be difficult to keep the skull.  Mounted on the wall, I think he would look magnificent  ;D   I think you could perhaps get back the skull with a special licence, if you have a genuine reason such as research, but I suspect that even then it would have to be incinerated eventually. 
If you find out more and do get a skull back, please let us know how.  :sheep:
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: Birdie Wife on May 17, 2012, 11:41:59 am
It's easy enough to get the horns back, but the whole head is a different matter as it contains the brain which is Central Nervous System material so has to be incinerated.   I would love to have the head of the chap on the left, my avatar, when he finally shuffles off - he will go of natural causes but I think it might still be difficult to keep the skull.  Mounted on the wall, I think he would look magnificent  ;D   I think you could perhaps get back the skull with a special licence, if you have a genuine reason such as research, but I suspect that even then it would have to be incinerated eventually. 
If you find out more and do get a skull back, please let us know how.  :sheep:

He's a lovely boy  :D I believe for mounting the head on a plaque, the skin is removed from the skull and a fibreglass former is used instead of the skull (I've been watching Mounted in Alaska on Sky  ;D) so it's just the skin and horns that are kept. Don't know how the horns would be mounted without part of the skull though. A taxidermist would be able to answer though.
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: Fowlman on May 17, 2012, 11:45:49 am
Mite be worth asking the abbatoir to see what the rules are.
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: Dougal on May 17, 2012, 01:18:18 pm
I'm strongly under the impression that ALL the head should go for incineration. If you want at least the horns then remove them before sending to slaughter? It's really easy to do. We used to take the horns off the Blackface tups regularly to stop them growing into their faces. There is a knack to taking them right at the head so that they don't bleed. There are no nerves in the horns so it doesn't hurt.
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: TheCaptain on May 17, 2012, 01:47:32 pm
so how come you can get the heads back from pigs? is it BSE related?
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: Brijjy on May 17, 2012, 01:49:59 pm
so how come you can get the heads back from pigs? is it BSE related?
Yes I think so. BSE and scrapie as far as I'm aware.
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: Hopewell on May 17, 2012, 02:00:29 pm
There are no nerves in the horns so it doesn't hurt.
There are definitely nerves to horns in any animal - the nerve is even called the cornual (which means horn) and in sheep and goats are cornual branches of the lachrymal (zygomaticotemporal) and infratrochlear nerves. If you are only taking the tip of the horn off then the nerve doesn't reach that far, but if you are removing horns close to the head then the nerves definitely reach that far and it will hurt. There is also a legal requirement to use an anaesthetic in adult animals (and if it is a goat for a vet to do it).
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: Fleecewife on May 17, 2012, 03:20:41 pm
I agree - it would be extremely painful to remove the entire horn prior to death.  The horn core bleeds profusely.  Sheep use their horns in a very delicate way at times, and know exactly where the tips are;  they also dislike being held or pulled by the horns, so they can most definitely feel them
I want the whole skull back to clean and mount.
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: tizaala on May 17, 2012, 03:48:46 pm
They should have the tools to remove the top of the skull with the horns on leaving the brains in the bottom half,  this leaves you with a circular piece of bone to screw to a plaque,
Mmmmm , Brains on toast, havn't had that for years
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: princesspiggy on May 17, 2012, 05:04:03 pm
i was wanting the skulls and horns back from my heb rams when they go aswell, so if u find out anything, let me know! i was wanting to mount them. maybe they need to go direct ot a taximdermist? i dont know
 ;) ;) ;)
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: robert waddell on May 17, 2012, 05:20:04 pm
i know with cows horns they have blood circulating in the horn and nerves almost right to the tip   :farmer:
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: Small Farmer on May 17, 2012, 05:27:04 pm
If one left the head outside for a while wouldn't nature's refuse disposal system do it for you?  You'd need to filter out things larger than insects.
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: Bramblecot on May 17, 2012, 08:01:57 pm
If one left the head outside for a while wouldn't nature's refuse disposal system do it for you?  You'd need to filter out things larger than insects.
My neighbour fails to manage a 2 acre field next to mine.  ??? ??? Last year I found 2 deer carcases stripped bare to the bones in a matter of weeks - they had been caught in his dodgy barbed wire fences.  >:( It does not bear thinking about but the skulls were picked clean. 
If you have some land well away from public view, it could be an option after a home kill.   I'll stick to eeping the skins as rugs though  :D
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: deepinthewoods on May 17, 2012, 09:41:01 pm
wouldnt burying the head for a few months do the trick?
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: Sylvia on May 18, 2012, 07:31:29 am
Yes, bury the head with the tips of the horns showing out of the ground, this is so you can find it again, and leave it for a couple of months. If your animal is tested for scrapie and found clear I don't see the harm.
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: MrsJ on May 18, 2012, 08:18:23 am
Quote
The horn core bleeds profusely.

Our bottle fed ram lamb had a tangle with something and made both his little horns bleed quite badly.  We sprayed them with purple spray (he does look funny!) and he has finally lost one of them, but it does seem to be growing back.
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: Dougal on May 18, 2012, 12:00:27 pm
Old game keeping trick for stripping prize heads, bury them in an ant hill for the summer. Left as clean as a whistle.
As for horn removal, I always left about a 1 inch stump and did it the same way as the vet showed me (he didn't use anesthetic either). Tie a string around both horns right at the base good and tight and that prevents the blood flow and leave the string for 20 minutes after the removal of the horn. You have to take the string off or you'll kill the second horn! We only did it right at the head where there was an infection in the horn or a growth between the horns and the ear so it was done to relieve the animal rather than trophy colllection.
Not sure you'll get the head back if the animal is over 12 months old? They still have to split the carcass to remove the spinal cord in any ovine with adult teeth erupted. That said the rules are far more relaxed than they were even 3 years ago so worth calling and asking about.
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: TheCaptain on June 03, 2012, 04:35:50 pm
well we got skins the back and have decided to give it a go ourselves - they're currently in my garage all salted up although I have started to work over the skins removing the salt and any pieces of flesh etc. Got ourselves a tanning kit off the t'interweb for 29 which does six skins I think so will be crackig on with the rest of it over the bank holiday. Fun fun fun!
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: TheCaptain on June 03, 2012, 04:36:52 pm
and I had lamb (hogget) chops last night - holy sh*t, blew my mind in the deliciousness that they had. Portland meat really is awesome.


 nom nom nom
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: Fleecewife on June 03, 2012, 07:17:15 pm
Oh do let us know how you get on with the home tanning. 
 
Home grown lamb/hogget/mutton is totally delicious  :yum: :yum:  - I could not eat it from another source now
Title: Re: Has anyone ever asked...
Post by: goosepimple on June 03, 2012, 07:29:03 pm
If you can get the head then perhaps befriend someone who takes out shooting parties, they strip the animal quickly once dead and boil (or whatever it is they do) the same day or so as trophies for the people attending the shooting party.  Sure they would do it for you.