Author Topic: Animal Butchering  (Read 16074 times)

Offline HelenWheels

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Animal Butchering
« on: July 25, 2009, 08:38:57 PM »
I didn't know how else to name the topic but here is what I want to know/do.

I believe it to be prudent to know how to:

- Kill, clean and fillet a fish

- Kill, pluck, clean and cut up chicken (and any difference to consider for other fowl)

- Kill, skin, clean and butcher a pig

- Kill, skin, clean and cut up wild game (deer, etc)

I would most likely not want to kill and prepare animals such as goats or cows, as I would want to depend on them for milk, etc.

Videos on the internet are available but it's one thing to watch it and a completely different thing to see and do the same thing up close and personal. A video on the 'Net is almost on par with knowing you get your meat from the grocery store.

I haven't had much luck finding a "school" of sorts to learn these skills and would really like to find someone within a reasonable distance of home (Nashville area) who would be willing to teach me (and maybe a group of others).


Offline JeanetteW

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2009, 09:12:49 PM »
These are certainly very important skills to have. We take care of our own goats, sheep, and chickens on our farm as well as the occasional small game animal. As with any other skill, practice is more important than "book learnin'."

I would think that it would not be too hard to find someone who could teach you in your neck of the woods. Maybe place an ad in the farm section of craigslist or call a few mobile butchers and see if the will teach you.

I think everyone should be able to demonstrate this skill before they can be issued a drivers license.  ;D
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Offline scrappy

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2009, 09:44:32 PM »
Consider the book "Basic Buchering of Livestock & Game" by John J. Mettler Jr.  You can learn everything you need to know about the topic.  There is no doubt that it is best to learn from a friend if you can.  I learned to slaughter pigs and goats from an acquaintance.  Messy work like that turns acquaintances into friends very quickly.  Still, if you can't find anyone to teach you, this book will give you quite enough information to get the job done on your own.

Also keep in mind that a necessary byproduct of dairy animals is their offspring.  You may keep the heifers and does, but the bulls and bucks are going to be for food.

Offline LdMorgan

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2009, 09:48:13 PM »
When I first killed, dressed out, and then butchered a rabbit for food it changed my world-view completely. It made me much more aware of the sanctity of life. To this day, I will not hunt for sport or fish for a trophy. I'll hunt or fish to eat, or not at all. When I do have to kill an animal to eat, I want its death to be as quick, as painless, and as dignified as possible. Every bite of meat carries a life-price, and that's something that people who buy their steaks wrapped in plastic never seem to notice.

If everyone actually understood the inevitability and the absolute finality of death, wars would probably not happen. There would be a lot more people willing to do a lot more to help their fellow man.

It is not the mark of a primitive man to apologize to the animal he must kill or the tree he must cut. 



Winchester32

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2009, 10:25:50 PM »
Quote
Maybe place an ad in the farm section of craigslist ....

Umm, I'm not sure finding someone on craigslist is the best idea.  I wouldn't put an ad asking a stranger to come to my home and trust him with a lethal weapon in my presence.  Just a thought...........



Winchester32

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2009, 10:27:29 PM »
When I first killed, dressed out, and then butchered a rabbit for food it changed my world-view completely. It made me much more aware of the sanctity of life. To this day, I will not hunt for sport or fish for a trophy. I'll hunt or fish to eat, or not at all. When I do have to kill an animal to eat, I want its death to be as quick, as painless, and as dignified as possible. Every bite of meat carries a life-price, and that's something that people who buy their steaks wrapped in plastic never seem to notice.

If everyone actually understood the inevitability and the absolute finality of death, wars would probably not happen. There would be a lot more people willing to do a lot more to help their fellow man.

It is not the mark of a primitive man to apologize to the animal he must kill or the tree he must cut. 

While I can appreciate your sentiment, that is not what the thread is about.  Please stay on topic.

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2009, 09:16:33 AM »
You might be able to go through you local Fish & Game Dept to find a direction for the wild game/ fish part of your quest.

Offline archer

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2009, 04:41:53 PM »
I've been wondering how to get this experience also. I have seen people advertising fresh rabbit meat on craigslist a few times. Next time I see it, I'll ask them if they can teach me how it is done.

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2009, 04:47:11 PM »
If everyone actually understood the inevitability and the absolute finality of death, wars would probably not happen. There would be a lot more people willing to do a lot more to help their fellow man.

It is not the mark of a primitive man to apologize to the animal he must kill or the tree he must cut. 

There is much wisdom in this.

Offline Darkwinter

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2009, 04:51:45 PM »
Back when I took my hunters education course, we went threw some butchering techniques.  It wasn't hands on, but the instructors told us they would teach us if we allowed them to keep some of the meat!!

Offline mngardener

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2009, 09:31:12 AM »
The best advice i could give is have a sharp knife and a good sharpener.
The most important thing is get the animal cooled and quickly. Mostly gut and soon as possible.
The rest is just getting in there and doing it. You will make mistakes but if you have some one there, they will be smaller mistakes.

If you cant find help. Start small and work your way up. The principals are generally the same, you just have more options with bigger animals. Start with a rabbit or squirrel they are cheep and abundant and will teach you skinning and dressing. ask a farmer if you can kill a few wild pigs. They are a pest most often. So if your ham is a bit small or you left extra meat on the carcass who cares. Practice different cuts. pork chop vs back strap (Loin) not sure if the bacon is any good on a wild pig or even an option. If nothing else you can always makes sausage with the scraps.  Make sure you freeze wild pig really hard and for a long time to prevent Trichinosis. (-25 for at least a week i believe) and cook well.

The rest is what kind of cuts you like and don't like. I like big ribs which means small bone on the pork chop. Do you want ham or fresh roast or sausage.

I am assuming you hunt or at least ok with it since you want to do most of the processing your self. If not your options at practicing are limited.

The best way to learn from someone is find some one who hunts. More often then not they do most of the butchering themselves. Particularly if they are rural. Even better would be to go with different groups. Every one has their own style and what they like and don't like.

Or you can try and find a local butcher shop and see if you can intern for them 1 day a week or something.

At least that is my opinion....

Offline HelenWheels

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2009, 09:36:38 AM »
Thanks for all the good ideas.

I don't hunt, mainly because I've never considered doing so and now would not be an easy task for me. However, there are some guys here at work who do hunt and I'll talk to them.

I expect to be pretty squeemish in the beginning about the act of killing an animal and I want to learn how to do it so that the animal doesn't suffer. As far as the gutting, I'm just concerned that I'll do something stupid that will contaminate the meat. The skinning and butchering I would like guidance with but figure of out of the entire process, this is the easiest to learn from a video or a book.

HW

Offline jetta2337

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2009, 10:17:54 AM »
Ask... I went out with a group of guys and told them straight up let me do it. We all shot and got something and I gutted them out. First couple times they stood over and pointed and showed me then after that I was on my way. Easy to do but very intimidating the first time.
As for the squeamish part just look at what you are doing pay close attention know that you got to do this and a lot of that leaves your mind. Also just think of the great meat you are getting and will soon be enjoying!!!!

Offline Zef_66

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2009, 10:25:17 AM »
I expect to be pretty squeemish in the beginning about the act of killing an animal and I want to learn how to do it so that the animal doesn't suffer. As far as the gutting, I'm just concerned that I'll do something stupid that will contaminate the meat. The skinning and butchering I would like guidance with but figure of out of the entire process, this is the easiest to learn from a video or a book.

Yeah, most are a little weirded out by the killing initially of the animal and the blood. But I think you get over that pretty quickly. But as others have said, the best way to learn how to do it, is actually do it. You won't learn as well by reading a book or watching a video. If you know guys that hunt, tell them you are interested and want to tag along. Then, you can watch everything, ask questions, and ask to help after a kill is made. When I started hunting, my uncles gave me one free lesson on how to gut a deer. Then the second one was up to me. I am no where near as good as they are, but I got further that way than I would have if I tried to look at pictures of someone doing it.

Offline khristopher23

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2009, 11:09:30 AM »
OK, not for the weak of stomach, as these are pretty graphic but here you go:

Rabbit:
part 1
YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.
part 2
How to Kill & Prepare a Rabbit: Part II

Chicken:
Chicken Processing on Custer Family Farm

Deer:
YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

I have to confess I didn't watch these all the way through, but if that's not what you're looking for just search for "butchering......(fill in the blank)

Also, I heard somewhere (it may have even been on TSP, so forgive me if I've giving out information Jack already covered) that you can sometimes ask to volunteer to work for a meat processor (especially during deer season) to learn butchering. Just look in the yellow pages (especially if you live in a major redneck area like I do) for deer processors, or meat processors.

skiffgirl

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2009, 11:26:54 AM »
There is a course called Becoming an Outdoor Women. It is for women only and I took a course that covered just what you are discribing. It does look like Tennesse has the course also and you might be able to email about when the next classes are.
http://www.tennessee.gov/twra/outdoorswoman.html

Offline khristopher23

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2009, 07:53:42 PM »
There is also a similar thread about butchering game here:

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=1904.0

I started to combine these threads, but may leave them as they are since the other is focused more towards game animals, and this one we can use more for domesticated "farm" animals.

SouthernLiving

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2009, 08:34:00 PM »
Don't pass up the opportunity to learn about butchering goats and cows.  If you end up maintaining even a small herd you will want to process the excess bulls and billies.

If you are physically able, this fall and winter will be the best time to get hands on experience.  Find a local deer processor and volunteer for two days during hunting season.  You will have your hands on more deer in that two days than most people will in a lifetime.  Another great thing about this is that you can see how they make their sausage, smoke the meat, ect...

Offline khristopher23

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2009, 08:59:07 PM »
Don't pass up the opportunity to learn about butchering goats and cows.  If you end up maintaining even a small herd you will want to process the excess bulls and billies.

If you are physically able, this fall and winter will be the best time to get hands on experience.  Find a local deer processor and volunteer for two days during hunting season.  You will have your hands on more deer in that two days than most people will in a lifetime.  Another great thing about this is that you can see how they make their sausage, smoke the meat, ect...

Sounds just like the same thing I heard when I mentioned:
Quote
Also, I heard somewhere (it may have even been on TSP, so forgive me if I've giving out information Jack already covered) that you can sometimes ask to volunteer to work for a meat processor (especially during deer season) to learn butchering. Just look in the yellow pages (especially if you live in a major redneck area like I do) for deer processors, or meat processors.

Did you just make that up, and I've got really cool ESP, or did we both just hear that on the show?

Offline Sid

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2009, 11:05:03 PM »
My neighbor out here in the boonies makes a living doing on the farm butchering.  He and his wife mainly do cattle and pigs.  They come out by appointment, and charge a very reasonable fee.

Their technique is fairly simple.  They shoot at short range the animal just a little above a point  between the eyes with a 22LR or 22Mag except in the case of a bison or very large bull, in which case they use a 30/30.  The intent is not to kill, but to knock out the animal.  They then slit the throat while the animal is layed out on the ground and let it die of blood loss.

After that, they use their pickup truck to drag the animal to a nearby tree and pull it up by the hind legs with a chain hoist and meat hooks.  They then proceed to gut it, skin it, and cut it into quarters which they deliver for you to a local meat shop which ages it, and then cuts it for you, again at a very reasonable fee.

You can learn to do it by yourself just by watching.  The first time they did it for us, many, many years ago, it was a little unsettling to watch, but one becomes conditioned quite quickly to the reality of life, and now it seems just like a normal part of life.  I would much rather see a steer that was born on my farm and lived an unstressed life die quickly in such a manner than go through the bad experience than most supermarket beef passes through to reach the store shelf.

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2009, 10:15:49 AM »
Sounds just like the same thing I heard when I mentioned:
Did you just make that up, and I've got really cool ESP, or did we both just hear that on the show?

???

Many apologies Kris...I missed the text below the vids you posted. 

But honestly, that's something I've recommended to people for many years. 

Offline khristopher23

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2009, 04:00:45 PM »
???

Many apologies Kris...I missed the text below the vids you posted. 

But honestly, that's something I've recommended to people for many years. 

No, I wasn't implying anything, I honestly heard that several days ago somewhere, almost the same thing you said word for word. I was just wondering if you heard it the same place, or did I hear that from you on a call in show or something?

SouthernLiving

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2009, 02:58:27 PM »
No, I wasn't implying anything, I honestly heard that several days ago somewhere, almost the same thing you said word for word. I was just wondering if you heard it the same place, or did I hear that from you on a call in show or something?

Don't sweat it bro.  I appreciate the work you guys do here.  I just didn't understand your post and for some reason the forum turned my three ?'s into a frowny face.

I believe Jack did mention this in a podcast a while back.  Maybe in the Survivalist Skillset episode - I'm not sure. 

I've watched a few of the guys working at a nearby meat processor that had been working there for several seasons.  One of them could gut, skin, and quarter a deer in about 15mins, by himself.  If you want to learn fast, that's the way to go.

If you want to learn frugal butchering, find an old geezer that feeds his family meat solely from what his family kills.  It takes much more time but there is much less waste.

Offline phuttan

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2009, 07:01:10 PM »
If you have a small USDA inspected shop near you, see if you can watch on a kill day. If they nick the gut, any contaminated meat is trimmed off. The carcass is washed thoroughly. Any blood or clots that won't wash off, get trimmed out. Then the carcass go into the cooler. Learn how to keep meat clean and cool it asap. That's the most important lesson. Clean meat is good safe meat. Learn that and little mistakes won't hurt you. Everything else becomes natural in time.

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2009, 04:50:03 PM »
What a great thread!!! After all my years of hunting, last fall I finally decided to butcher a deer myself. It wasn't pretty, but I got it done. Ended up with a lot of hamburger.  :-[  Now we have a couple goats that are ready for the freezer. I never thought of volunteering at a deer processing center to get some experience and will make a stop in there sometime this month and look into that before I do a goat. Thanks for the tip.

Offline causeway

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2009, 08:41:40 PM »
Great videos Khristopher. Thanks for posting. great thread.

Offline Hoxbar

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2009, 11:13:31 PM »
There was a comment made in a recent podcast saying something like killing your food everyday or very often will desensitize you to respect you should have for animal life (or something to that affect).  Like Uncle Ted Nugent says, your food is killed everyday unless you are 100% vegetarian.  There is nothing wrong with killing your meals everyday, such as chickens, fish etc. It's a part of life and some city folk are not used to it.  I think this subject of butchering animals is needed. If you don't have a clue then learn. First learn on a squirrel or rabbit.  Once you have that down then most other game are done the same way.  The only difference is a deer is just bigger. Not much of a huge difference. Hogs can  be processed like deer, they could be skinned unless you want to scrape them, save the skin to make cracklings and render the lard.   Killing our food is reality and we should all be able to do this and then know how to prepare our kill.  In response to the podcast stating that killing our food can desensitize us from the respect we have for life, let me say this.  The Native American Indians had great respect for everything they killed.  They used everything, respected the animal, and respected the hunt as well. They never took the game for granted, and us that kill our food and eat our "pets" are not desensitized to the respect for life. We only realize that God gave us animals to eat and we are thankful for the bounty he has so graciously given. On our farm, our freezer is filled with pork that was raised as "pets" by our kids to show in school. My kids understand that pork chops do not come from the grocery store but rather come from our "pet" pigs. We also raise our own cattle. We eat beef almost everyday that comes from our "pet" cows. We respect our herd and again are thankful for them.  We raise chickens, and eat them too, and my children also understand where their fried chicken comes from,that's right our "pet" chickens . I'm sorry if this is somewhat a rant but I was a little offended by this comment. 

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2009, 12:00:05 PM »
Has anyone mentioned your local FFA or 4H clubs?  They grow their own livestock, sell it at the local fair or auction (usually), and whoever buys it has the option of having it sent for slaughter.

I'd hit up an FFH/4H member and ask to be allowed to follow the process.  Observing in real life and being able to ask questions is still worth more than a video.  I doubt you'd be allowed to slaughter someone's purchase though...

Offline phuttan

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2009, 04:36:40 PM »
The shop I worked at allowed FFA/4H groups watch their animals get butcherred. (emotional for them) They would also come back when we cut/processed their animals. They could do the cutting. We would tell them where to cut and give help. But they would do the cutting.

If anyone has kids in FFA/4H, ask if they butcher/cut their own animals. If they do, you might be able to observe or help.

Pat

Offline Cheeta68

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Re: Animal Butchering
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2009, 07:17:16 PM »
If you would like a DVD to look at there is an excellent one available from the Kentucky Dept of Fish and Wildlife. It goes step by step through the process of processing a deer. It is nice to have so that you can go back and re-watch sections if you have questions about technique while you are butchering and packaging.

This is the link to the sight where you can purchase.
https://secure.kentucky.gov/Mall/Store/7803440a42df458c815d9db55890b738/Home/9ed1752ec2f5417282de7dd895c43227/

If you want a preview it is available on youtube.
Deer Processing