Advice for first time butchering and tanning?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by RedEarth, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. RedEarth

    RedEarth Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2005
    I will be butchering my first wether this weekend or possibly next, and would appreciate any tips. I have helped with a deer or two before, and didn't mind it, so I don't feel completely ignorant about the process. I also want to brain tan the hide for buckskin. I plan on using a 22 to the back of the head, aiming out through the jaws, then a deep cut ear to ear to bleed out well.
    My first question is: should I cut the head off at this point? I want to hang the meat to let it age and tenderize a bit. My temps here are lows in the 30's and highs in the 60's. I will be hanging it in the shade of my carport. Does 2-4 days sound right? My Nubian wether is 4 months old now. At 3 months he weighed 62 lbs, and I can tell he has gained quite a bit in this last month.
    Next question: I will be skinning carefully (in order to tan)before I hang him to age, should I wrap the meat in cheesecloth or something to keep it from drying and keep stuff off it? Does that help at all or is it unnecessary?

    Any advice on the tanning? Has anyone had experience tanning goat hide or brain tanning anything? I am thinking I will soak the hide in rain water with some lime in it (1 cup?)for two or so days to help loosen the hair. I have been leaning toward the wet scrape method of tanning.

    I appreciate any tips on any of this, thanks.

  2. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 24, 2003

  3. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 6, 2005
    Hi Jessica,
    Sounds like you have the perfect method in mind for the killing and bleeding part of the process. As for hanging the meat.......goat meat does not need aged and as far as I can tell, is better if its not aged. When I first started butchering my own goats I figured on aging them too. Then I started asking some of the "old pros" about it and they all said the same thing. No aging needed and its better if you don't. So I didn't. Much easier that way too, since it takes about one hour to put a goat in the freezer instead of having to let it hang for several days. So what you want, but if it was my goat I would only hang it long enough to bleed, skin and gut.

    As for tanning, I don't know. I butcher a lot of goats and think it is such a shame to throw out all the hides but I personally haven't the time to tan them, and I can't find anyone who is interested in them even for free. And I have had some really nice hides............but they just get thrown on the back hill for the coyotes along with the guts. Anyone here close enough to Mountain Grove/Cabool, MO and interested enough to come pick them up for free????
    I wish you great success with your butchering and tanning venture, Jessica!!+

    Emily Dixon
    Ozark Jewels
    Boers, Nubians, Lamanchas and Alpines
  4. Ark

    Ark Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2004
    Zone 8
    We do not age our cabrito either and it tastes GREAT!

    We butchered 5 goats this year, and there is nothing left in the freezer... :rolleyes: ...all gone!

    We treated them exactly as we do deer - and the meat is really good.

    But, we wait until they are a bit bigger so they will have more meat on them. Plus, the kids are showing the wethers in 4-H and we cant butcher until after the show which is in January.