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DIY Slaughter and Butchering?

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    I hope this isn’t too morbid.

    Hello forum goers, I’m from the Limestone Coast SA (Mt Gambier/Millicent area) and I’m looking for someone to hopefully show me how to go about filling my freezer, or failing that sell me some mutton. I have a bull and some steers but I wanted to learn on something a tad smaller.


    Hallo Quite Contrary. :wave: I can’t help with your query but welcome to ALS.Lots of good caring folk on here , and hopefully someone will be able to assist you. Very few requests go unsolved.


    I learned how to butcher animals by following the Instructions in John Seymour’s book the Complete Guide to Self Sufficiency. In this day and age I’m sure there will be instructions on the Internet. Take a look. Best to start with a sheep. I used to always send my steers to the slaughter house as they were too large to handle. I have done goats and pigs as well, so nothing too big.


    Hi there and welcome!!

    We do our own sheep and pigs. We live in northern victoria and have animals to slaughter soon if you want to travel to learn??

    I agree with above – we too have a butcher slaughter any cattle (none at the moment – our heifer died 🙁 ) they are too large. Hubby did one in the paddock with an old butcher, they tied it up to hang in a tree. He said it was a heck of a lot of work but he felt like a ‘man’ that day, hacking into such a large carcass providing for his family LOL.


    Equipment is the first thing, technique the second. Good sharp knives and a place to hang the carcass are essential. A band saw is good too. John Seymour’s book is available to buy on the internet. I bought ours from

    Do you have a gun licence to shoot the animal or do you plan on cutting the throat? Good yards are needed if you plan to get in with an animal that you intend to kill and I wouldn’t even dream of trying to cut the throat of a large animal!! :S


    Although I grew up on a farm slaughtering our own animals we eventually changed to getting it done by a butcher. It didn’t cost too much but the meat was cleaner cut, hung well, bagged properly into the cuts we wanted – so much easier all round.

    Chooks are easy to do your self though with a holding funnel, but it is even easier to find an Asian woman or couple (born in Asia) to do it. I am not being racist, :ohmy: I have a friends, and my sister, who give a few chooks to their Asian friends (in seperate towns) in return for the Asian women to do a few chickens for them and they both say that they do an excellent and cleaner job that they can do themselves.

    Tip – if you hate plucking you can skin chickens instead. Less messy and smelly.

    PS. if you are cutting the throats of sheep, get someone to show you how to do it properly. Depending on your technique it can be humane and quick or nasty – most people who have never been shown go the nasty, cruel way.


    Simplynatural that is exactly what I want to do, come and learn, but I can’t travel quite so far.

    I’d like to work up to cutting but I want to start with shooting because I know how to do that :laugh: I do have a book or two already.

    donkeynomad, the whole point is I’d like to learn. I could get a whole sheep already cut up for $100, which is pretty much what buying one to do myself will be, but why pay money if I can learn do it myself?


    As far as rabbits and chickens go, we looked at you-tube tutorials. We purchased good cleavers and really good sharp knives.

    For Kangaroo meat DH dowloaded a how to online also. and it was fairly straight forward to him. Do you have space to hang them or would you have to hire a cool room?

    Our sheep will be done by a pro, soon actually. Getting a cool room in our area is very $$$, like thousands for a few days-week. For the smaller animals we have an old fridge but the sheep wont fit in there :laugh:.

    Good luck and keep us posted with how you go 🙂


    I have a three-walled wood shed. I’m unsure on hanging times though, most places I’ve looked involve American or English climates. I was hoping shade and a wet sheet would work.

    I wont be keeping much for myself, half will go to a friend who wants to do it with me and the rest I’ll try and offload to friends and rellies, but I have a nice big freezer.


    there was another thread here not long ago, that talked about climate for hanging meat..pretty sure ‘Mauzi’ hung meat in both southern vic and tassie,and there was some others. we have hung roo out over night in winter then smaller sections were put in the fridge, and the rest was dog meet anyway… But hanging meet outside worries me even in winter.. but i am a nurvous purvis :laugh: lol.


    I live at Casterton if you want a bit of a hand and can get over here, if I am not too far away for you. Message me if you want.


    One of the River Cottage Dvds had the butcher Ray teaching people how to cut up meat. He used a hack saw for the bones said it was much cleaner doing it then using a cleaver.

    If you want to practise buy a carcas and go from there till you get the hnag of it.

    I have done rabbits and chickens when I was younger. Rabbits are easy just a good pull and its skin comes off. Chooks are best done in an old boiler if you have one hot water makes it easier.

    The school our boys went to years ago had a fund raiser of raising their own chooks for killing. One of the fathers used to do the deed and all the mothers plucked and then packed them the chooks were all organic and had flavour you had to taste to believe.

    As I went past the butchers in the Woolies shopping center this morning I thougth I was seeing things but went back to make sure “Rabbit $19.99kilo”, when Hubby came home for lunch I told him to get out the back paddock and get some. Ones around here at the moment are fat and huge.


    Fresh shot rabbits grazing off my back paddocks taste absolutely amazing, just as described on River Cottage DVDs. I’ve never had luck with the store bought rabbits though as they always tasted gamey compared to wild rabbits. Go figure? My best guess is all the commercial feed must be full of chemicals and medicines that might be doing something to the taste of store bought rabbits? I’ve just started breeding mini French lops for pet industry only so I can use the rabbit poo on the veggie garden but I was thinking of doing giant meat rabbits. But at 5 cents a shot for yummy wild rabbit they better have something going for them taste wise or I may abandon raising them.

    I have the DVD on butchering, it’s called Pig in a day. Nice video but the hack saw is really a butchers bone saw. Same basic tool but the blade may be different to cut bone. The local wholesaler has them in Ballarat but I won’t get one to try out for a while as I just put money down on the first of my hopefully full time pig raising venture. So won’t need one for quite a few months yet. A big chest freezer is next on the list as I’ll be doing my first steer as well around about the time I butcher my first pig.

    Exciting times 🙂


    The butcher said they weigh around 2kilos each but they didn’t look as big as the ones here on our place. Another butcher charges $25 a kilo so its quite expensive for meat. Same with goat its over $100 a side beyond our price line.


    Robyne post=346182 wrote:

    I have done rabbits and chickens when I was younger. Rabbits are easy just a good pull and its skin comes off.

    I have considered raising rabbits, I think I am in the wrong area to do that right now but I still have to ask. What is the best way to kill a rabbit? I do not have a firearm of any description (not that you would use one on a farmed rabbit).


    Hanging sheep in southern vic and Tassie is done.

    But not sure about a wet sheet the one thing you really need to avoid is humidity when hanging meat. The very odd time Dad had issues was unexpected hot humid weather. He always kills to avoid that. He uses a full heavy dry cotton bag to cover them. He gets a butcher to do cows now partly the size but partly to much room for error he’d rather them in a mobile cool room.

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