Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Goat butchering

Hello again,

We went out after lunch and cut up a few of the goat kids that were born this spring. It went pretty quick and we were done with five of them in a little over an hour. I gutted two of them and Jonathan did the other three. We carried them up from the barnyard and hung them on the gambrel beside the house to skin them. Our friend Steve came over yesterday and sharpened a bunch of our knives for us on his electric sharpener and then came over here to help us with the goats today also.

Four of the goats were young bucks that we had wanted to get rid of for a while but we were waiting for a nice day to do it. I don't think we could have asked for a nicer day! It was around 35 degrees this afternoon so our hands and feet didn't feel too cold. The other goat was a little doe that we kept for us in the freezer. The bucks weren't castrated so we didn't want to keep the meat.

We "dispatched" the goats with the .22 in the back of the head and then slit the throat to let them bleed out. After the animal is dead it doesn't seem to me that it is any different than a pile of meat with the hair on. We have a handy little saw we use for cutting the bone between the rear legs and sawing through the rib cage that makes gutting really easy. It has a plastic end on the tip so that there is very little chance of puncturing the intestines.

Speaking of gutting, this summer while we were butchering chickens Jonathan and I timed ourselves to see how fast we could gut a chicken and do a fairly good job. I think my fastest was a minute and a half and Jonathan got one done in a minute and 20 seconds. We had quite a few to practice on!


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