What is the process of slaughtering a cow?
Just wonderin'. Thanks!
In as much detail as possible. Thanks for your effort, I appreciate it.
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Calves are traditionally kept until they are 10-15 months old, but that can be a problem for a family raising their own meat. If the calf was born in February it could be butchered in December. In a place like Montana, however, December is late for butchering. With the temperatures around 0°, your meat would have to hang a very long time to age.
In a cool climate you could butcher it then if you did it fast, but you would have to pay someone to hang it to age. In most climates, you don’t butcher between May and October anyway, if you can help it, because of the fly problem. So then you’re up to fall when you have all the other butchering to do. If you can manage it, I think that is your best option.
Here are a few additional suggestions to think about ahead of time. Butchering pigs and cows is easier if you withhold food for 24 hours before butchering. This is not totally necessary just be extra careful with the guts.
When you butcher only certain members of a herd, avoid frightening the others. Don’t run through the herd chasing the one you want. Move slowly and calmly. Try not to kill one animal in front of the others. Don’t slaughter in the animal’s home.
Before butchering, decide what parts you will save. However, if no one wants to eat it, the value is only in learning and experimenting and knowing the possibilities.
There is a certain satisfaction in using everything. Ears and tail can flavor a pot of beans. Hooves can make gelatin. Stomachs can hold blood sausage and other things. Lungs are edible. Intestines can be used to make sausage casings or cooked in some other additional dishes.
Be sure to save enough fat for lard, sausage making, and if you’re butchering a cow, for ground beef.
With a cow mentally draw lines from the top of each ear to the opposite eye. Where the lines cross is where you shoot. One shot with a .22 should do it.
Stick the point of your big knife into the throat and cut outward through the skin. Never try to cut into the skin through the hair. Make sure you’ve severed the main veins and arteries.
Any male animal that is to be used as food should have been castrated. If that wasn’t done, however, remove the head and testicles right away. That’s easy with a goat, but a cow or pig can kick with a real wallop, so be careful. This is done so the meat won’t be tainted.
Remove the head by cutting all the way around with your big knife. As always, avoid cutting into the hair. Instead keep your knife between the flesh and the skin and cut out.. With a pig or cow, use your meat saw.
Make slits between the achilles tendon and the ankles and insert the gambrel.Remove front feet at the joint. Using a come-along for a pig or cow, hoist the animal into the air to a height convenient for working on the rear of the animal.
Slip your short pointed knife into the slit you made at the achilles tendon and cut around the foot, again cutting out, not in. Be very careful not to cut the tendon. With the knife between the flesh and the skin, slice a line through the skin down each leg to the centerline. Then cut down the body to the neck.
Now take your skinning knife and begin skinning at the junction where the leg cuts meet the centerline. Hold the skin with one hand or your hook and pull hard to create tension as you use your knife to separate the flesh from the skin. Work out from the center.
If you are not going to use the hide, you won’t have to worry about keeping it intact. Just be concerned about the meat in that case. You’ll have to be much more careful if you want to use the hide.
Keep pulling the skin away with your hand or the hook and continue to slice between the hide and the flesh until the belly is skinned. This will relieve the tension of the skin on the rump. Now work around the leg from front to back.
The next step is to start at the top of the “Y” and skin up and over the crotch. The skin is tightest here, so be especially careful if you’re saving the hide. Pull skin out and down to create tension on your work while you slice with your knife. A layer of fat makes the animal relatively easy to skin. Leave as much fat on the body as possible.
Work over the anus to the tailbone. Give the tail a sharp jerk and it will separate from the vertebrae. From here on, the weight of the skin practically skins the animal for you. Work all around the body. If there is too much movement on the gambrel, lean against the animal.
Raise the beast when it becomes difficult to reach your work. Bring the work to you and stay comfortable. The forelegs are a bit difficult near the shoulders. Start on the outside of the leg and work around to the front. Skin the neck and the inner forelegs and shed the skin.
Lower the animal so that you can comfortably work on the rear of it. At this point you want to separate the large intestine from the body. You will begin by cutting around the anus with your short pointed knife. Be careful not to make any holes in the intestine. When it is cut free, pull it slightly out and tie it off. It is helpful to have a partner here.
Cut down the belly with your pointed knife. Cut from inside out as before. With your other hand hold the guts away from the point of the knife. Cut through the belly fat all the way down to the sternum. Next, cut the meat between the legs.
If the animal is a male, cut out the penis. Place a large container underneath to catch the guts. By now they will be bulging out of the body. At some point if you are butchering a ruminant, there may be a flow of greenish liquid from the neck. This is just the cud and nothing to worry about.
Cut through the fat surrounding the guts, then sever any tissue connecting them to the rear wall of the body cavity. Pull the anus through to the inside and then out. Separating the intestines from the body is tedious, so take your time. You don’t want to spill the contents into the meat.
Be careful also not to rupture the bladder. Some people tie it and then cut it off, but I’ve found that method to be more likely to cause spillage.
Pull the intestines and bladder out of the body. Most of the stomach will also be free now. You will need to reach in and under to lift it all over the sternum. Some people cut through the sternum, but it’s easy enough just to lift the guts out. Most everything will now be hanging out of the body. Remove the kidneys and fat. Cut out the liver and put it into the keeper bowl along with the kidneys. Sever the remaining flesh connecting the stomachs to the body, and it should all fall into the gut bucket.
Cut out the diaphragm and remove the lungs and heart by severing the connective tissue behind them. Separate the heart from the lungs and squeeze out the blood from the heart. The heart is a keeper, while the lungs aren’t.
From the neck end, cut out the windpipe. Be sure the opening is clear all the way through the body cavity. Clean all over with cold water.
Except for pork, we age all our meat from fowl to cow, and strongly advise you to do the same. If it’s too warm to age it, it’s a real shame to butcher at that time, because the meat won’t be as tender as it could be.
To halve a larger carcass, face the belly while your partner helps hold the body and helps to guide the saw from the back when necessary. Use your fingertips on the blade to guide your cut. A cow should be quartered for ease of handling, of course, but also to allow the meat to cool as quickly as possible. Merely cut between the 2nd and 3rd ribs and be ready to hold the fore section. It should be hung for two weeks under the proper conditions.
When you’re finished working on the animal’s body, it’s time to salvage the tongue and brains from the head. The easiest way to get the tongue is to cut under the jaw in the soft space in the middle. When you have slit this open, reach in and cut the tongue loose from its mooring. Working through the mouth is much harder.
Chopping the skull with an axe works for getting out the brains, but sawing it in half with your meat saw gets the job done with a bit more finesse. If you plan to use the rest of the head, you will have to skin it now. Remove the ears, eyes, nose and anything that doesn’t look like meat or bone. Clean thoroughly. You may want to brush the teeth.
In any case, you’ll need a pot large enough to hold the head. If you cook with a wood stove as I do, just add water to cover, put a lid on and leave it on the stove to simmer until the meat is tender. It’s less convenient if you use some other kind of fuel.
Remove the meat and bones from the pot and separate them. Take out anything that looks strange and you’re ready to use whatever recipes you’ve decided on. Boil down your broth to a manageable amount and either use it in your recipes or freeze it for later use.
When you are ready to cut up your meat, refer to the section that applies to your animal
- Anonymous4 years ago
I do not know in the event that they do it the identical approach they do hogs or no longer however I labored at a red meat plant and so they surprise the hog as it's coming via the shute with what appears like a massive set of electrical tongs. They slip a series round one among its again toes and it hangs it the other way up then its throat will get slit and it bleeds out. It dies very speedily. After that it's despatched via a flaming furnace that kind of chefs the hair off of it, then it actions on down the road in which men and women begin reducing it into portions. Hope this is helping. There are consistently veterinarians on website to be certain that it's being performed humanely. There also are U.S.D.A. inspecters there to be certain matters are performed correct.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Usually they are hit in the head with a hyraulic bolt then hung by a chain and slit open, gutted, skinned, de-headed, tailed, and hoofed, then halved, and left to age for awhile, but Im sure there are different methods.
- 1 decade ago
1. Catch a cow
2. Slaughter it