Home butchering questions

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Concrete Cowboy, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. Concrete Cowboy

    Concrete Cowboy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    I hate to post such a general question. We need some help with home butchering. We are currently paying .80 / lb plus a 30.00 kill fee plus 3.00 a gallon to and from the butcher. It’s really starting to add up and I’d like to lean how to butcher myself. I’d like to know of any books, videos or web sites that may be a help. Or any tips I could get right here about any part of the process or tools I’d need. I’d really like to get some hands on learning but most people around here (Northern IL) just take their meat for processing. I’d love to learn this and teach my kids to do it for themselves. I'd travel a bit to learn if anyone does not mind me and the kids making a mess. :) Thanks for any ideas.
     
  2. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

    Messages:
    52,869
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/geissal23.html
    Here's jus one site. Google " hoe buthcering sheep" and youll find lots more. Also think about where you want to do it and how you can hang them. I hunt deer so Ive rigged up a cheap boat winch and cable on a telephone pole to hoist them up by myself. It really is good to have a helper though to hold them steady and to help with pulling off the hides. Youll also need a work table which can be just saw horses and a piece of plywood covered with plastic. A couple of good sharp knives, a bow saw with a bone blade and a hatchet are also handy. If you dont have a gambrel you can make one buy one from hunting supply places. I like to skin mine and then use the hide to wrap the entrails in for disposal, assuming you dont want to keep the hides. A 5 gallon bucket will also hold them . Running water nearby is handy for rinsing the carcasses and your hands and tools and helps with the cooling as you work. If you have deer hunting friends get one of them to help you at first since deer and sheep are very similar in how they are processed. And you can Google up "primal cuts sheep" and get diagrams showing the main places to cut Its also nice ( but not necessary) to get some shoulder length gloves to help keep yourself clean. Most sheep or animal supply places have them. They are really helpful in cool weather so you wont get your sleeves wet. And each one you do will get easier. If you dont have a refrigerator to age them you can put ice in the bottom of a large cooler and then put the meat, in plastic bags, on top of the ice. Ive kept deer that way for a week or more to let it age. It makes a HUGE difference in the flavor and tenderness
     

  3. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,370
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    Never posted here at the sheep forum - but I'm curious - does aging the meat intensify the flavor - or cause it to be more mild?

    thanks;
    Niki
     
  4. Aging mostly makes it more tender. It can improve the flavor but tenderness is the biggest reason for doing it
     
  5. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,246
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
  6. brierpatch1974

    brierpatch1974 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    193
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Butchering the animal to me is the easy part. Its cutting all the meat up after that that gives me fits :( Thats where i need help and advice with.

    BP
     
  7. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,246
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    <<<<<Butchering the animal to me is the easy part. Its cutting all the meat up after that that gives me fits Thats where i need help and advice with.>>>>>>>


    I simply follow the lay of the meat and separate the four legs, the backstrap, the meat on the neck and any other little pieces there are. Very simple. Since its for home use rather than selling, I don't care if the cuts I make actually have a *name* or not. :shrug: This was asked on the other thread I made about home butchering. Just scroll further down and you'll find pictures of the cutting up the meat process. I just use a sharp kitchen knife to do the entire butchering process from start to finish. I'm sure there are better ways to do it, but this works for me and is very fast.

    Here is the link to that thread again. Just keep scrolling down and you'll find the cutting up pictures.

    http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=112750

    Its very simple but might help a bit?? By the way, we do beeves the same way...its just a LOT bigger job..... :rolleyes: