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www.windridgefarm.us has a section on low tech butchering small animals under the potbelly pig section. If you are going to butcher a larger animal you will need some heavy lifting equipment, like hoists, forklift, front end loader, or a lot of help. If you want actual steaks you will need to get an electric meat saw (essentially a stainless steel band saw, harbor freight (on line) has good prices, but I've never actually purchased from them) and a freezer big enough to freeze the meat, prior to sawing into steaks. Trying to cut steaks from thawed meat is realistically a joke. Thawed, or body temp carcasses can be processed into roasts, and stew meat, but steaks need to be frozen when cut, and even meat for grinding into burger should at least be chilled.

mightybooboo said:
I understand the kill and quarter part,but would like to see a step by step on how you actually cut the meat into chops,roasts,steaks and such.Can anyone recommend a site or books that would be useful?
Thank you,
BooBoo
 

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Check Mother Earth News archives. A number of years ago they ran a whole series.

Bret
 

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agmantoo
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mighty,
The skill of a true meat cutter is rather significant and comes from years of training. For the needs of a family, very few people are going to go to the effort to become highly skilled. I process my own meat using a process that an experienced meatcutter shared with me. The method is simple and meets our needs readily. The process comes from recognizing that each part of the animal is comprised of various muscles. What is not too obvious is that each muscle is separated from other adjoining muscles by what we refer to as silver skin. This is a white or silver appearing thin membrane that is translucent. Using the technique shown to me is simply a matter of separating each muscle from the other. In the hindquarter there will be a half dozen of so major muscles that you can remove individually by observing the silver skin. Once you get the muscles removed individually then all you have to do is to cut the meat across the grain. When you encounter bits and pieces that you cannot identify as to the grain direction or what muscle they belong to just put those aside for burger. I do not use a saw and I only put up deboned meat (takes up less space and the wife doesn't like to mess with the bones) I hang the quartered meat in an old beverage cooler ($35) at 32 to 35 degrees for up to 10 days before cutting. I do have a cubing machine and I make a lot of cubed steaks and I make a lot of burger out of the mystery pieces. We double wrap the meat and then label, date and freeze it following the cutting. Treat yourself to a couple of good knives and learn how to sharpen them using a butchers steel.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you every one of you,such great answers :worship: !Hey,I know when I butcher that first cow it isnt going to look anything near what like a skilled professional can do,i imagine a heck of a lot of bizarre looking roasts :eek: ,really odd looking steaks :eek: and 600 lbs of hamburger! :haha: :haha: But I learned to do rabbits,think next would be a pig,esp if i can watch one being done first.Would hate to ruin those chops though :no: .Better i watch one first,eh? :rolleyes:
BooBoo
 

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I've butchered a lot of animals ranging from chickens, rabbits and squirrels all the way up to deer, pigs and cows. The one thing that I have found is this....No matter how oddly shaped the meat is cut, it still tastes pretty darn good :D

You only get good by doing! Enjoy and keep an eye on your fingers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
pointer_hunter said:
I've butchered a lot of animals ranging from chickens, rabbits and squirrels all the way up to deer, pigs and cows. The one thing that I have found is this....No matter how oddly shaped the meat is cut, it still tastes pretty darn good :D

You only get good by doing! Enjoy and keep an eye on your fingers.
Yep,just what I figured,gonna look funny but still taste pretty good :)
BooBoo
 

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Butchering is a dirty buisness, but someone has to do it if you want to eat. I started with chickens,rabbits etc., & moved on to pigs,deer, & goats. I've never done anything bigger than a 250lb hog. I just hack & slash, & use the odd bits for sausage or burger. It all tastes good to me.
 

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see if you can get ahold of "basic butchering of livestock & game" . lots of good pictures and descriptions. $15 new or you may be able to find it used or even at the library
 
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