Learning to process and clean animals

Discussion in 'Food Storage - Canning/Freezing/Butchering/Prep' started by Tessa, May 20, 2016.

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  1. Tessa

    Tessa Member
      13/23

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    It might sound funny, but YouTube and Pinterest have been very helpful when it comes to learning how to slaughter and process chickens. Seeing it done in videos was a lot more informative than just reading about it, although I wish I'd been able to learn firsthand from someone local. I learned to clean fish firsthand and it stuck with me better than if I'd just been told how to do it without seeing it.

    I'd like to learn to butcher rabbits, but again I don't have a local teacher and I'm replying on the internet. I get the basics, but are there any must-know tips or tricks beyond the basics that make it easier or more efficient? If I can process rabbits, other small animals should be pretty straightforward, right?
     
    Keith H. likes this.
  2. meganisonfire

    meganisonfire New Member
      8/23

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    I am right along with you when it comes to processing animals. I would like to know how this is done and what the process is. I have never had to kill an animal for food let alone prepare it's dead body for cooking or preserving. I wonder if you need to use a lot of salt to disinfect the body after skinning and draining the blood? This makes me want to go out and buy a book on this because you never know when you might need to use these survival skills in the future.
     
  3. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    No Tessa not funny at all, I think GOOD youtube videos can teach you a lot.
    Frankly there is little difference between field dressing & butchering a rabbit or field dressing & butchering a buffalo. Size & effort is the main difference. Same as plucking & dressing a pigeon or an Emu, one is just bigger than the other. The larger more work, but you get more meat for your efforts.
    I guess the main thing to watch out for is not to cut into the gut or the bladder & to cut around the anus cleanly & pull the whole tract clear without contaminating the meat. But accidents happen, & the carcass can be washed clean.
    Skinning a rabbit can be done in several ways. The most common way is to cut from anus to neck & take the skin off in one piece. You cut off the head & paws before doing this. The other way is to cut off the head & paws & then cut from the end of one back leg to the other & pull the skin off in one piece. This method is used so you can stretch the skin on a board (like a small ironing board slipped right into the whole skin. You can also use wire coat hangers). This method also allows you to make very quick emergency moccasins, as you can slip your feet into the fur side in,flesh side out skin.
    Soaking the rabbit meat in salty water overnight will remove that "gamey" flavour.
    Keith.
     
  4. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    A few simple tips
    Always hang by the rear legs if you can, it is so much cleaner and easier on the back!
    Complete skinning before you gut it
    Cut around the bum and release the anal passage before you tackle the guts!
    The gut has its own membrane sack, try not to cut it when slitting the carcass open!
    If done right you open the torso from the groin to sternum, release the anal tube then gently pull the intestinal sack forward
    while cutting the membrane holding it to the spine as you go!
    The whole sack should come out as one and hang!
    Keep cutting down the inside spine, kidneys, heart and lung will loosen as you cut!
    After that a gently pull will get the rest to fall out!
    A quick inspection while giving it a quick wash and it is done!
    A large animal you want to bone out needs to be hung and left to set for a day or two in a cool shaded spot covered with a cotton sheet or bag
    to keep the bugs off.
    Trying to bone out a fresh kill is a real pain, it needs time to set!

    If it is a large animal I hang high enough to get a large wheelbarrow underneath to catch the skin-head and then guts in one and
    once the gut is free and clear I wheel the barrow to my current disposal pit, tip it in then rinse the barrow! very easy clean and efficient!
    I don't usually use the hides!
    I keep a bucket of water handy to rinse hands as they get a bit slippery
    And if it is a large animal have a few very sharp knives not just one!
     
  5. PracticalToby

    PracticalToby Member
      18/23

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    There's some very good practical advice above. I'd say look for and be careful to remove the gall bladder without breaking it. Breaking it or leaving it in is a mistake you only make once!! I also agree about skinning before gutting if you can - the cleaner you can keep everything the better, especially if you want to preserve the skin, but sometimes there's no choice. It's no problem, just do the best you can.
     
  6. Tessa

    Tessa Member
      13/23

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    Awesome pointers, thank you all so much!
     
  7. Dilof

    Dilof New Member
      3/23

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    The biggest point on this one is not cutting the guts or stomach by accident; this pretty much ruins the entire meat and wastes precious energy as well as time.
     
  8. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    Busting the guts is not the end of the meat if you are quick but it is very hard to clean and rinse it out without plumbing etc!
    so not worth salvaging unless you are desperate!
    A gut shot animal is still useable but it needs good cleaning!
     
  9. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Easy tip for gutting good sharp knife when you open the animal turn the sharp part or blade up this opens skin upand if careful does not open gut sack be careful of pee sack if broke open and hits meat wash off quick
     
  10. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Small little letter openers gave out as ads make a great tool to be used to open a kill the zazor edge cuts nice and the blade is protected from cutting the gut sack knifes of this type are called gut hooks
     
  11. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    The main things is dont hurry knifes called gut hooks are sold they make opening a kill easy no gut hook lay blade along finger with sharp side up go from butt up to ribsa good place to start on a male is at the nuts a letter opener gave out as a ad makes a nice gut hook they are sharp and zazor is protected away from guts
     
  12. cluckeyo

    cluckeyo Well-Known Member
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    I've personally butchered only chickens and quail. I really must study more about the chickens, it was terrible, twice!! The quail are very easy and I learned how just as you suggested, through YouTube. I found a great video from a real butcher. It was really, really helpful. I saved it and everytime I butcher, I go back and watch it a few times before I start. I should find one like that for the chickens too.
     
  13. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Here on farm we have a shop set up ive can pretty much get anything takein care of tool truck 15 years back sold band saw grinder combo that was a great buy
     
  14. Christavia

    Christavia New Member
      3/23

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    I got nervous reading these posts just now. I watched the butchering of various animals growing up in the country side but for some strange reason I can't stand the sight now. Anyway, youtube have how to videos on basically everything. Look for the ones with the highest ratings/likes, most of the times they are the better ones. If you were in my country I would've recommended a farmer who would've been ever too willing to teach you.
     
  15. hades_leae

    hades_leae Active Member
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    You did right by learning on youtube, I did not want to consider youtube a source for realistic information, but you can't say that the things people are teaching in their videos is not worth the watch. I learned how to skin all types of animals, and I don't know one person personally that does it. If I needed to do it in real like, I would have no problem with making a trap to catch, skin, and cook a rabbit for meat, or skinning and gutting a dear, snake, etc. All thanks to youtube users.
     
  16. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    When I use to gut a deer we would hang it from its front legs off the ground. It was done in this manner so that the organs would drop downwards. The risk of contamination of a small accidental cut into the large intestines would be minimal as it is headed downwards, and would most likely miss the bulk of the meat.

    We would skin the animal from top to bottom, make a cut from its throat, downwards, and open up the cavity. Pulling out the internal organs is easy. You just need to pull on his throat and it will come out with some force and it will fell like a tube. Once you have that in hand, everything come out easily. From there you cut out the anus area and you are done.

    Most videos I see on Youtube, they have the deer hanging from tail to head, which I was told and taught not to do because of the contamination mishap. It makes sense to me.
     
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