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Carefull what animals you eat.

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posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 07:18 AM
I'm posting this as a heads up for others, but also as a request for more detailed info as i know little about it.

Many people, including myself in the past have learnt how to kill and dress animals for the pot, however i wonder how many people know the signs that an animal may not be safe to eat?

The reason i bring this up is because my neighbour has chickens, and recently one died (not from old age), and i casualy asked if he used them for food afterwards.

He said he didn't usualy, but even if he did he wouldn't have eaten this one as he didn't know what it died of. To be honest i'd not given it a second thought until he said it.

If you've just killed the animal, then i guess you're probably pretty safe (please correct me if i'm wrong on that), but trying to claim animals that you've found after they've died could be an issue.

They could have been poisoned, eaten something bad themselves, or simply the meat is spoiled and you'd be best leavig it alone.

Anyway like i said, i don't know enough about this, so have put it out there for others to help with.

They do say that a little knowledge can be dangerous, and it's subjects like this that prove that.



[edit on 2/9/09 by CX]

posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 07:21 AM
i thank you for your effort since people they still dont realize but they may be soon need such information....i dont know it myself so i shall keep an eye on this thread to learn

posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 07:36 AM
I would be cautious of any animal just fond dead in the wild, but I have eaten my share of road kill. Dead animals generally do not last long in the wild, especially smaller ones. Even the larger ones should be visited by scavengers. As bad as it may sound you might be better off, in a true survival situation, eating that which is be scavenged by other animals over that which is left alone. I truly had never thought about this,and I have spent more than considerable time living in a primitive environment. As I have said before though, here in the CONUS, you can generally eat anything that moves. Diseased or infected animals rarely last long in the wild, but I am sure it can happen.
the biggest problem most will face will be from contaminating their meat with bile, from improper dressing. One little slip of the knife into the intestine can ruin a good meal. Glands can be another issue, while usually not harmful they can ruin a good piece of meat.



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 07:39 AM
I have to admit that I am one of those guys that can handle a can opener like nobodys business. But as for field dressing an animal?

I'm going to lose weight quick.

I guess it'd be a good time to learn. . .

posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 08:48 AM
It is important to check the internal organs of ANY animal you kill for discolorations, spotting, rough spots, hemorrhages and other things that "Just don't look right". Failing to do so could lead to very serious illness.

The liver in particular is very important.

posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 08:54 AM
Not sure about elsewhere but here in UK you have to be careful with rabbits if you FIND them dead as they could have mixamatosis (man made disease/poison) spread back in the 60's and 70's to 'control' the rabbit population.

posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 09:15 AM
personaly i'd pass on anything you found already dead...
even alive, look at the aniaml before you kill it, watch it for a few min. (if you have the chance.)
Is it moving right, is it acting like it should, is all the fur where it should be, is there excess mucas etc coming from nose, mouth..

Even in hunting season i look and observe the deer or elk to make sure its healthy, some times there is not realy a chance to check much, but at first glance if you think something is not right, i'd check it out a bit more.

There are a lot of diseases going around, Every year they have the stations where you can drop the heads off with info, and the fish and game checks them to see if there is any diseases showing. Its a way for them to keep track of whats out there, and a way for you to be aware.

I have had a few road kill before, car in front hit a deer, etc. but that is about it, if i didnt see it go down, i'm not going to think about eating it.

Be careful with rabbits in summer as well, and a few other critters, there are hunting seasons for a reason.

While some may bash you for taking the smaller animal, they are much more tastier and tender, and in a situation less food wasted.
If during normal hunting season and its big game, take the one with the smallest neck, it will have the better taste, and less game taste.

Learn how to make jerky, because even a small deer is more than a small group can eat in one night. Although that poses its own problems, attracting bear and other hungry critters.

[edit on 2-9-2009 by severdsoul]

posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 09:25 AM

Originally posted by projectvxn
The liver in particular is very important.

Great point! I feed my dogs all raw meat. I did some research about rabbits as they are plentiful on our property and I was hoping for a bit of free dog food.
I discovered that I should check the liver for whitish spots before feeding because of a condition known as Tularemia. Thorough cooking does get rid of the disease. But handling is important.

I also discovered that the disease isn't widespread here, but it depends on where you live.

I would have to be pretty hungry to eat something that was already dead, but if hungry enough, I might take my chances.

[edit on 2-9-2009 by Benevolent Heretic]

posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 09:26 AM
Another good one to be on the look out is Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which tends to affect deer more than any other species. A good way to keep abreast of such diseases is to frequent your hunting regulatory body's website as they tend to put out updates about diseases affecting the local game populations.

posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 09:31 AM

Originally posted by projectvxn
It is important to check the internal organs of ANY animal you kill for discolorations, spotting, rough spots, hemorrhages and other things that "Just don't look right". Failing to do so could lead to very serious illness.

The liver in particular is very important.

A liver that is black or has white spots on it and/or a rancid smell is the sign that this animal is no go!!! Look for other signs of disease on the internal organs as well.

There is so much more to making a determination - here is a very good LINK which gives some good outlines to follow in the event that you find yourself hunting for survival. Begin on page 211 and read the chapter.

posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 09:56 AM
I hand't ever thought about eating something I didn't kill or know who killed it. You've given me a lot to think about.

A few years ago a friend of mine had a cow die unexpectedly in the middle of fall and he used the tractor to dump it out in a back field. He knew that the coyotes and other scavengers would strip it in a few weeks.

Winter came and nothing had touched it, the coyotes got desperate that winter because of the cold and tried to get into the barn several times. They even had to be careful about him or his wife ging out unarmed because th ecoyotes where getting bold and desperate. Well spring came and the dead cow still had not been touched, bit it started to bloat and eventually ruptured and sprayed a foul liquid over the area and now the area where the carcuss liquified he still can not get the other cows near it.

posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 10:15 AM
You should never eat an animal you haven't taken down yourself. Especially an animal that has been dead for who knows how long. When a animal dies (even a fish) it releases chemicals into the blood stream that can make you deathly ill.
There is a reason you bleed the animal once you kill it after all. It prevents those chemicals from working their way throughout the body of the animal. (or fish, mainly sharks etc.) Once that is done you dress it and check the rest of the organs.
The second reason would be simply that you have no idea how it died or what killed it to start with. You are gambling with your life plain and simple.

posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 11:13 AM
reply to post by kozmo

Great thread CX and great link kozmo, EVERYONE NEEDS TO CHECK HIS LINK. This is a Very important topic that has been overlooked.

If you shoot squirrels in fall you might be suprised to see big white larvae wriggling their way out of the body. These are botfly larvae and the meat is safe to eat but man it freaked me the first time I saw it!

I have eaten many types of wild animals (including non-game ones).

So the checklist in short:

observe animals for erratic behavior (it helps to know what their normal behavior are)

Check tongue and skin for anything abnormal - lesions, discoloration, missing fur or feathers.

Check internal organs especially the liver for spots (the liver is the very large dark brown organ)

Check inside ribcage for lumps or odd, cheesy looking "things"

When dressing game it is important to remove the organs whole without puncturing them - especially the bladder and intestines as this could ruin the meat. If you have gut shot an animal you may have to smell each piece of meat you remove for bad odors.

To remove the organs you can do it one of two ways - 1) cut around the anus and remove through ventral hole you have created. or 2) carefully saw through or break the front of the pelvic bone and pry the pelvis apart. This is what the saw edge on the backs of knives can do or just tuck a 6" piece of hacksaw blade in you kit.

For large animals you will want to hang the carcass up and spread the ribcage open in order to cool the meat. wiping a layer of blood on meat will also help prevent spoilage. HEAT DESTROYS MEAT. easy to remember.
You will need to keep flies off the animal to prevent them from laying eggs.
yellowjackets can also be very aggresive and take a lot of meat in a very short time. In the space of 3 hours yellow jackets had bore a hole through a canvas meat bag and a 20 lb piece of rump - all the way through! Little bastards wouldn't let us take it either. lol

As soon as you can, begin to cut up and process the meat you have by cooking, drying or smoking. smoking is the best way to store extra meat that you cannot eat right away.

Some animals have musk glands that must be carefully cut around to avoid spoilage of the meat. These animals are skunks, weasels and groundhogs in the US. Otter are also weasels but I would never eat one for spiritual reasons.

I would recommend both gutting and skinning any animal you plan to eat. this includes snakes, turtles, mammals and birds.

It might be wise to pack a few pairs of surgical gloves in your kit for the examing animals that may be in questionable health.

You can eat roadkill if it is fresh and the damage has not broken open the internal organs. I've gotten some really good deer loins that way, don't knock it till you've tried it!

Finally I would add that I don't like using shotguns to hunt because I have broken a tooth biting down on a piece of birdshot.

Good work CX - keep 'em coming! S&F!


posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 12:01 PM

Originally posted by mikerussellus
I have to admit that I am one of those guys that can handle a can opener like nobodys business. But as for field dressing an animal?

I'm going to lose weight quick.

I guess it'd be a good time to learn. . .

Hi Mike, i started a thread a while back about dressing game if you are interested, quite a few video tutorials to watch. I'd love others here to possibly add to the advice in that thread as we seem to have a lot more visitors to this forum lately and some with a lot more experience than myself and others.

Note: The thread below didn't start off that great due to some people being a little disturbed at the fact it showed animals being butchered. There is a huge warning on the thread and i'd prefer it if comments focused on the topic and not about the comments against the videos.


Heres the thread anyway...

Tutorials on field dressing game

As for this thread, WOW!
I guess i did ask for advice, and jeez did i get enough of it.

Thanks for all the replies and links, looks like a lot of reading there which will keep people out of trouble.

Much appreciated.


posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 12:22 PM
Very good thread indeed. Thank you for starting it.

edit to ask if any one has ever eaten Mt. lion? I'll be going into an area with a large population and if I have to kill one for self defense I don't want to waste it.

[edit on 2-9-2009 by calstorm]

posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 06:21 PM
Another less known fact is that you cannot live off rabbit alone for any great period of time does not contain the right nutrients or enzymes to keep you healthy ,,there is a very well known case of dozens of miners dying from malnutrition even tho they had unlimited rabbit to eat ....

Man cannot live of rabbit alone is not a survival food for a long period of time ..

posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 10:41 AM
reply to post by calstorm

Yes cougar is edible, they serve it at elks lodge from time to time in different areas along with other game meats.

posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 10:48 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


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