Butchering the family steer


Today was a sad day for the wife. I killed her steer. This however was all planned and had a purpose. When taking on a project such as this its good to first know what your doing and second have your tools and items all prepared ready for the job at hand. Prior to the butcher I made sure that our walk in cooler was fully operational, the knives were sharpened, tractor was working as its still cold out, and my help was ready to assist in this project. Our animals are extremely friendly so we just got a bucket of grain and walked Riddler out of the corral to a dry and clean location for the butcher. At this point you need to make sure your able to complete the task at hand. We dumped the grain on the ground waiting for the perfect shot to ensure instant death with no room for error. The picture below is the proper shot placement for cattle as well as most other livestock.

If done correctly and our shot was correct, the animal will crumble upon itself instantly dead, now the work begins. After the animal has been shot in the head the heart will continue to pump. Its best to cut the arteries in the neck to allow as much blood drainage as possible while the heart is still pumping. The heart will continue to pump for around 5 minutes or until all the blood has left the body. There will be a lot of blood, several gallons. It may be necessary to reopen up the cut to continue draining as the veins will sometimes clot.

During this time the animal will sometimes kick around sporadically. This is normal. The electrodes in the animal will continue to fire to the muscles for several minutes. Don't mistake this for being still alive and continue to shoot the animal. After the blood has stopped flowing and the twitching has stopped its time to get to work removing the guts and hide. I start on the back end, working around the lower legs to pull back the hide giving a hole between the achilles tendon for attaching a chain or cross member.

From here I like to open the cut along the front of the leg up to the middle of the stomach where his tits are located. Be careful during this step to ensure that you don't cut to deep and cut the stomach open. Also at this time i will cut around the anus and open up the anus tract that goes into the stomach cavity. Doing this will allow the guts to fall out better when you get to removing them.

Once I have some of the stomach exposed I will place my arm/hand palm facing out and put my knife edge between my fingers. This will help keep the guts back from the blade while I cut up to the rib cage.