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How to Butcher

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Once you learn to butcher your own meat, you'll have a better chance at survival
Now that you’ve learned how to butcher a deer or other large animal there are a few tips for butchering of animals. Of course, some guidelines apply to all, mainly whether you should preserve the meat immediately after you kill it.

If the weather is relatively cool or moderate, it’s probably a good idea to let the animal hang once it’s been bled and gutted. This allows the meat to tenderize and also kills off any parasites. However, if its hot out, you need to preserve the meat immediately; either canning, salting, smoking or jerking. If you have electricity and a freezer, then by all means freeze it.

When you butcher a hog or pig you do not want to skin it. Instead, once the pig has been gutted, then hang the carcass over a hot, but low-burning fire and scrape off the hair. To loosen the hair, pour boiling water over the hide. In the old days the hog would be submerged in a huge kettle of hot water to loosen the hair. Don’t forget that pork is full of parasites, so all skin and meat should be boiled or cooked thoroughly to kill the parasites.

The next type of butchering you might want to know, is how to butcher birds. Once the bird has been killed, usually by cutting the throat or wringing its neck, then hang it head down and let it bleed out.

A quick word of caution, birds that eat meat all have parasites, so handle them as little as possible. In fact, in light of concerns about bird flu , you should wear a mask and gloves while butchering any kind of fowl, but especially when you butcher chicken; and wash up thoroughly afterwards.

Now, I’ve butchered chickens and I can tell you right now that dealing with feathers can be a real hassle. So I’m going to pass on a basic trick for removing feathers after you butcher a bird, dip it in hot water to loosen the feathers (except for ducks and geese). It’s also easier to remove the feathers, immediately after killing it bird, while the body is still warm.

After the bird has been plucked, make a cut from the vent down to the tail. Stick in your hand and pull out the guts; keep the kidneys, gizzard, heart and liver. If the head was not removed when the bird was initially killed, cut it off now. Then cut off the feet.

Once you’ve learned how to butcher by the method of just doing it, then you’ll never be intimidated by the thought of having to butcher any kind of animal. Of course, butchering a squirrel is a little different from butchering venison or beef, but the principals are the same. Just remember what the guy answered when asked how to eat an elephant: “one bite at a time.” The same with butchering: “one cut at a time”.

Learning how to butcher is just another survival skill.

Once you learn to butcher a deer or elk, then preparing a squirrel or rabbit will seem like child's play.

 
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