Does anyone else butcher their own meat?

frustratedearthmother

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Yep, still have to scald... I'm not too fond of it either...that's why DH does it. He kills and scalds, I gut and process.
 

Poka_Doodle

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The hunting season is underway and with it comes the butchering of the animals. We butchered an antelope on Sunday.
 

baymule

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I have never butchered my own meat.
It is not that hard. Be sure to buy a home size meat grinder. I bought one years ago and it sure has come in handy. Right now a neighbor lady is using it to make her first ever sausage from a wild hog her husband trapped.

Buy a book and a bone saw and you'll be in business. Have you ever butchered a chicken?
 

NH Homesteader

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I'm about to learn more. My husband has always done most of it, I had the excuse of watching our daughter. Now she's old enough that she can hang out and sort of entertain herself and we lost our primary helper. So... My turn. We have 30+ Cornish x, 8 turkeys and a pig to do this fall. Next year we want to try lamb. Oh and we will hopefully have a deer when hunting season gets here. We would also like to try goat at some point.
 

NH Homesteader

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We were typing at the same time... We have had our meat grinder for a while now but haven't used it yet. I can't wait! I think, this time around, we will do all ground pork and do sausage flavorings when we cook it. Our next pig we butcher in the spring, we want to do sausage and try some links even. We just have way too much to do right now to go there.
 

Beekissed

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Yep...cooler weather and hunting season signals a lot of handling of raw meat here. I'll be inheriting my sister's flock of chickens this month and I only have coop space and winter wants for about 6-7 of those, so the other 19 will go into jars shortly after they arrive, as will my 14 juveniles when they hit a good weight, probably in November.

My brother is coming out to hunt this weekend and, if he sees a likely deer, we'll have one to process as well. Same with my sons...all excellent hunters so when they go out to bow hunt, we have work to do. I don't mind it at all, as its age old heritage here to grow or hunt, then butcher, our own meat.

All of that means a wealth of meat protein for the chickens and dogs, as well as good and healthy meat for our winter consumption. All a HUGE blessing from God each year.
 

k15n1

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We unfortunately learned the hard way that not everyone who claims they know how to butcher an animal can actually do it properly. And turning your back can end up costing you dearly too. We've lost a good few pounds of meat that somehow made it to the off-cuts piles. Like the pigs' necks that suddenly got very short! I'd say if you have to send an animal off to butcher, make sure you can trust the people, make sure they are experienced and will do the job properly, especially the killing part.
There's old-fashion home economics and there's retail cuts. If you want to use the whole hog, I think you've got to do it yourself.

I've been disappointed by butchers, too. But I think it's not a failing of the butcher but rather that everyone else has trained them that offal is awful and the tongue is for dog food, etc. I still have yet to find a butcher who will do what I want. So I butcher myself. Call me Dr. DIY but it suites me to do this kind of thing myself. Yes, it takes time and effort but I am willing to pay the cost to have things done properly.
 

sumi

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Our problem was simple theft. Taking a bit more off the animal than we agreed on, in addition to the fee for doing the job. When we had people slaughter our pigs we paid them a fee and let them have the offal, heads, trotters and tails. Many of the pigs' necks went with the heads. We learned that lesson the hard way!

Our butcher was great though. For a minimal fee he did exactly what we wanted him to with the carcasses we took him. Even if he grumbled that we were "stealing" his customers, as we sold the majority of the meat. (I ran a small business from the farm, selling meat, eggs, vegetables etc)
 

baymule

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I think I may have to learn how to process our lambs for our own use. I want to be able to use all of the carcass I can. So much of it hits the garbage that I could use. We butchered our own roosters and I skinned them, no way I was going to pluck all those durn roosters! I only threw away the head, skin and feathers. The dogs stayed nearby and gobbled down the tossed-to-them intestines.
 

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