Basic Butchering of Livestock and Game


How to butcher

You can probably learn to butcher an animal better from watching a YouTube video than you can from reading text, but this classic book will help you evaluate what you see on YouTube. It gives you the context, reasoning, and background of the moves you see in the videos. It also gives you the instructions in clear text. I find it helps me sort out the cacophony of the different methods seen in amateur videos. Beef, pork, lamb, venison, rabbit and poultry are covered. And of course, if the Internet goes down, this clearly illustrated book is always there.

-- KK 09/4/12


The animal must be killed quickly, with little or no pain, but more important is that death comes without fear. To allow an animal to become frightened at slaughter is not only cruel, but unwise, for it causes the release of adrenaline, which some believe can affect the quality of the meat. Also, fear may cause the animal to struggle, doing damage to its meat or injuring the person slaughtering. Select the method of killing that will upset the animal's routine least, thus avoiding fear, and select a method that is sudden, thus avoiding pain.


Shoot or stun the lamb as close as possible to the point where two imaginary lines drawn from eye to ear intersect, as shown.


A. Hang the animal by one hock on a screwhook, and remove the other rear leg at the hock joint, the front feet, and the tail. B. Start to skin the carcass with a knife, but then peel the entire hide down the body.