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Country Discussion Topics
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Steer butchering
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egg lady    Posted 01-09-2003 at 04:35:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
Could someone out there send a few of your most necessary words of wisdom regarding home butchering of a steer? I have just finished butchering my 3rd hog by myself, and would like to butcher our steer. I skeptical about the ethics of meat processors if you know what I mean.
This way I know it's my beef, it's been cut with clean hands (there's a story behind that one), and I'll get every bit of it. It's just so dang big! I'll quarter it to hang instead of halves, that'll make it easier, but, jeez, think I can handle the beast? Hubby "don't want no part of it" (except eatin' it of course). Anyone out there ever tackled home butchering of a steer (by themselves?) Please send your wisdom! Thanks


Willy-N    Posted 01-09-2003 at 22:14:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
I buchard a 1,500 lb Cow once. Boy what a job!! I did have a loader to lift it with. Never relise how big they are to you stand inside working on it. I did it for the free meat for our dogs. It was fresh kill (broken back) and warm meat is real hard to cut off. After that job I pay the butcher the .25 cents a pound to kill, cut and wrap the meat. Just did not relise how much work was involved till I did it myself. Mark H.


DeadCarp    Posted 01-09-2003 at 08:35:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
First off, i'd suggest you tag along somewhere and watch one (or help out) being done by someone experienced. That way you've seen what it takes to kill the thing, handle the gut pile and head etc. Another option - hire somebody to slaughter and quarter the beast, then you can cut & wrap once it's cooled and aged a little. For wrapping, i'd enlist a neighbor and maybe trade for some meat.
Slaughtering is not an impossible task, but i'd hate to do it all by myself. Whoever you hire won't show up alone either. With a big animal, there's alot of things that can happen that need an extra pair of hands.


Friend    Posted 01-09-2003 at 07:04:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
I just cant imagine a husband who would let his wife even attempt anything like that by herself. That is one big animal to handle by yourself if you do not have the proper equipment. If it were me I would strongly consider putting the "husband" into the reyclcle bin. You have my respect.


Gary, Mt. Hermon, La.    Posted 01-09-2003 at 06:13:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
I butcher my own pigs/deer/beef. Beef is different only in the size. I usually butcher steers about 8 to 900 lbs. Anything larger than that is just too hard to handle. I have a "butcher slab" above which is an H beam on which I hang an air hoist(a good sturdy chain hoist will work also). I use that to raise the beast and hang it from the hind legs (using a homemade "spreader" after skinning down as far as I can, removing the head and opening the chest, and cutting loose the bung hole, and splitting the (what we call the "itch bone") while it lays on a pipe rack built special to lay it out for opening the cavity. (If you plan to kill it yourself you'll need a tractor with a three point hitch lift boom or a front end loader to move the steer from where you kill it to where you're gonna skin and gut it out.)

Once lifted on the hoist complete the gutting/skinning operation, then using a hand meat saw or a power recipeocating saw cut directly down the center of the spine to hslf it. You can then quarter the beast. (on an 800 lb steer the quarters usually weigh out at 75-100 lbs more or less.)
Be careful when cutting the bung hole that you dont nick or slice the intestine, you should know this already if you have any experience butchering stock.
I have a cooler to hang meat in till it chills. It is a lot easier to cut up and debone cold meat than warm.

Good luck.


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