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butchering-msg - 1/9/08


Overview of how to butcher livestock and game animals. More comments on butchering and cleaning animals.


NOTE: See also the files: butch-goat-art, pig-to-sausag-art, p-butchering-msg,  sausages-msg, exotic-meats-msg, HC-butchers-art, sausage-makng-msg, pig-heads-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Fri, 20 Mar 98 21:02:08 PST

From: "Alderton, Philippa" <phlip at morganco.net>

Subject: Butchering - long (was Re: SC - Ostrich, and cruelty to geese)


: Has anyone else had to kill their meats for a feast?


: We were offered a bunch of rabbits for a pittance - but we would have to kill

: them ourselves.. I think the neighbors would get a wee bit upset...


: Morganna


As a fairly experienced home butcher, there's a lot I've witnessed and

learned over the years, so I thought I'd share my experiences, while we're

on the subject. 1st part will be general info, the rest will be specific

manners of dealing with specific challenges.


Start with a very sharp knife or three, and have a sharpener handy.


When killing and butchering, cleanliness is extremely important. Granted

when you're dealing with a hairy, smelly beast, clean butchering seems to

be an oxymoron, but the object is to cause the animal to die as painlessly

and neatly as possible, in a convenient location for processing.


( Until the day I die, I will never forget the afternoon I spent watching

some friends chase a very upset pig all over 126 acres because the killer

had "heard" that a .22 to the brain would kill him quick, if he had his

nose in the feed bucket. It's a good plan, but it helps if you know where

to shoot, and you don't miss your shot. I had sent one of the kids to the

car to get my .357 before the man finally made the killing shot, and was

NOT happy to be asked to help carry all 350 pounds of him from the corner

of the farm where he finally died.)


The object of the exercise is to kill the critter quickly, and make sure

manure and intestinal contents do not wind up on the meat- for this reason

and others, total edibility, I favor either breaking their necks, for small

animals, or cutting their throats for larger ones.


Knowing what you're doing is a big help- if you don't know, ask someone who



Another consideration is the flavor of the meat. Utterly aside from humane

considerations, an animal which has been scared and run all over hell does

NOT have the same flavor as an animal which has been gently handled and

killed properly, regardless of what you've fed him for the last 6 months.

Even if he or she has been neutered, those hormones and body chemicals WILL

kick in, in a scared animal, and there is a very definite flavor

difference- it's one of the things which contributes to the so-called

gamey-ness of wild meats.


After you have sucessfully killed, hanging by the hocks to drain the blood

out is also another flavor enhancer- coagulated blood is NOT a pleasant

flavor unless properly processed as a blood sausage, or equivalent.


So you've got the animal killed, hung by the hocks, and in your processing

area, what next?


First you have to remove the hide. This is a relatively simple matter,

requiring a cut around "ankles"  and "wrists", and a slit down each limb to

the center "seam". The center seam is a cut you make, starting at the anus

and genitals, having cut around them, which goes down the center of the

belly and chest of the animal, to the throat, meeting a circle cut you've

made just behind the skull. CUT VERY GENTLY DOWN THE BELLY, YOU WANT THE



Now, if your persona is Polish, at this point you will peel the skin from

the carcase from the bottom up. Otherwise, start at the top, the "ankles",

and peel down, pulling and severing connective tissue as necessary, DON'T

CUT INTO EITHER THE MEAT OR THE HIDE!!!!!!!! Just sever the membranes

between them.


Having got this far, it is now time to remove the intestines. Cut very

gently down the center seam of the belly,(having replaced the blood bucket

with a clean tarp), top to bottom, and let the innards fall as they will.

Depending on your usages, you can feed them to the animals, or rescue them

all, as period people used almost everything. I would say save the liver,

kidneys, and heart, and save the intestines to be cleaned later for sausage

casings. That's up to you. Do remove the gall bladder from the liver,

unless you wish a real surprise at dinner. Sever the head, and use it as

you would. Tongue, brains, whatever.


Specific animals.




As has been mentioned in this thread, wringing their necks is easiest, but

cuttimg their throats works too. Thrusting their bodies into boiling water

to loosen the feathers is nice and easy, adding parafin to the water and

letting if cool before you rip off the feathers works too. Just don't expect

to use the feathers for anything. Otherwise, skin and clean as described



Small game:


With small game, such as squirrel, rat, muskrat, raccoon, beaver,

groundhog, fox, rabbit and what not, you can follow the above instructions,

but it's usually easier to just roll them out of their hides, like you'd

roll a kid out of his sleeping bag.


Large animals-


Pigs, cattle, horses, etc


The instructions above were intended to cover them.


Special Note!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




The same techiques I described above work on sheep and lambs as well,

BUT!!!!!!!!!! they have a great amount of lanolin in their wool, and if you

touch a sheep or lamb with the same hands as touched their wool, you will

get an  _interesting_ flavor. Sheep and lamb are definitely a two person

job, to do it right.


This, for all it's length, is definitely very short. Any specific

questions, please ask.


phlip at morganco.net



Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 23:42:38 -0800

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: SC - SC: another chicken butchering method


Hi all from Anne-Marie

back when I was a kid on the farm, I had several 4H projects every year,

involving the production of meat for my family. We raised chickens, sheep,

goats and the occasional rabbit (though we could never bring ourselves to

off dear Bun Buns, not to mention dear Bun Buns having such an attitude

none of us kids would go near him).


For the quadrepeds, we always called The Butcher, who came out with a large

refridgerated truck and a big bolt gun (no bullet to richochet or get lost

in the carcass). Ms Pork Chop, or little Rosemary the Lamb would get a big

bowl of tasty grain, and never knew what hit her. Most impressive, though

I'd have nightmares about that winch for weeks afterwards...


For chickens, though, we;d do 'em ourselves. Hundreds of chickens

simultaneously (to this day, I strongly believe we are doing chickens a

favor by eating them). We had it down to a system...we'd take bleach

bottles and old plastic milk jugs, cut off the bottoms and the tops, and

staple them to the back wall of the barn, upside down. We'd drape plastic

sheeting from under the jug, down to a large lined garbage can.


The chicken would be taken by the feet (when you take a chicken by the

feet, they get rather quiet. All that blood to their brains, I guess).

You'd stuff them in the jugs, upside down so their heads would stick out

the bottom, and their feet out the top. At this point, they're so stupified

they're basically asleep.


Quickly and quietly, before they had a chance to see what was going on,

you'd pith them like a frog. Taking a sharp knife, pierce their brains from

below their chins. Instant, painless. At that point, you would cut the

throat and let the blood run down the plastic into the lined cans. No

flopping (they were immobilized), no squawking, no blood everywhere to

distress the dairy goats in the next pasture. We'd use the blood as

fertilizer for the fruit trees in the orchard later.


Once they were exsanguinated, we'd dip them into boiling water vats we had

going on camp stoves to loosen the feathers. Then, (and this was the prized

job..me and my brother would fight over who got to do this), we used the

AUTOMATIC CHICKEN PLUCKER MACHINE!!! Get this. You could rent this gem from

the local County Ag Extension office. There's this big drum that rotates.

On the drum were floppy rubber fingers. You would take the chicken and hold

it up to the rotating drum, and the feathers would strip off. Tons of fun,

like a big buffing wheel, but feathers everywhere!


The chickens were then de-gutted (my little bro liked this job best.

wierdo. ), and we got to use a propane torch to burn off the pinfeathers

(another prized job). They were then bagged up and put in the freezer for

later use.


I rather doubt that this was how it was done in the middle ages, especially

the automatic chicken plucker part...but if anyone wants to butcher their

own poultry, I strongly recommend the upside down pithing method. Most



- --AM



Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 07:48:48 +0100 (CET)

From: Par Leijonhuvud <pkl at absaroka.obgyn.ks.se>

Subject: Re: Butchering - long (was Re: SC - Ostrich, and cruelty to geese)


On Fri, 20 Mar 1998, Alderton, Philippa wrote:

> Now, if your persona is Polish, at this point you will peel the skin from

> the carcase from the bottom up. Otherwise, start at the top, the "ankles",

> and peel down, pulling and severing connective tissue as necessary, DON'T

> CUT INTO EITHER THE MEAT OR THE HIDE!!!!!!!! Just sever the membranes

> between them.


In most cases you can put your knife away once the initial cuts are made

(at least on small animals such as sheep and deer, I've never tried on

moose, horses or cattle). Use your hands to push, pull and pry the hide

off, and whoever gets to take care of the hide will love you. I do

buckskin tanning (as a hobby), and far too many of the hides I get have

cuts in them.


Ohh, one more thing: many tie off both ends of the digestive system

(i.e. the esophagus and anus) to avoid getting the contents loose.



- --

Par Leijonhufvud                  par.leijonhufvud at labtek.ki.se



Date: Sat, 21 Mar 98 19:31:31 PST

From: "Alderton, Philippa" <phlip at morganco.net>

Subject: SC - Butchering, Part 2, long again.


First, I want to thank Par and Anne-Marie for their commentary on the first

post. I had meant to mention tying off the ends of the digestive tract, but

it's something I do automatically, and forgot. Also, I'm a leather worker,

and am very conscious of not cutting the hides, but I've found that the

connective tissue is tough enough in some areas that a knife will save a

lot of arm strain.  I had heard of the gallon jug method of butchering

chickens, but had never seen it done or done it, so thought it wise to keep

my mouth shut. Thanks, folks!


The following is addressing large animals primarily, so if all you want to

butcher is rabbits or guinea pigs (that's for Lord Ras!) or poultry, you

may not want to continue. But if you quit here, at least I got my

thank-yous in ;-)


So now you have your animal hanging, innardless, and skinless, what do you

do? Basicly, nothing for at least 12 hours. Period people butchered in the

fall for several reasons- to save feeding the animals other than breeding

stock through the winter, to put food by before winter, and because it was

cool enough to allow the meat to chill and age for better flavor. All you

need do at this point is to remove the feet, wash the animal down for any

extraneous hair, etc,  cover with cheese cloth to discourage flies, and

depending on temperature, let it hang for a day or two. To help the cooling

process, some friends of mine split the animal down the spine and breast

bone, using a standard cross cut saw, others wait until they're ready to do

the rest of the cutting. I've done it both ways, and while it did cool

faster, there was no appreciable flavor difference. In warmer weather, I

usually make a cheese cloth tube by tying it over a wooden or plastic hoop

and draping rather like how you hang mosquito netting so the cheese cloth

doesn't touch the meat- this keeps flies at a safer, in my mind, distance.

I know the ideal is a walk-in cooler, fly free, but most farms don't have

one so you cool the meat in a not-necessarily-fly-proof shed.


Once the hanging meat is cooled and aged to your satisfaction, you

dismantle the beast. This is done in a manner similr to sectioning a

chicken. First take off the fore-legs at the shoulder, and lay them on your

table and cut to your satisfaction. If you have trouble at the joints, your

crosscut saw will help. Next (having split the animal lengthwise), take a

cut across the spine and free the shoulder, chest and neck. This section is

very heavy and awkward in a cow, so have a clean drop cloth below in case

of accidents, and a friend to help. Cut this section up to your

satisfaction. Then, take the lower back of the animal away from the hip

joints, and finally remove the hind quarter. If you're slicing things into

a lot of steaks, a band saw is a big help. I use a friend's, and he has a

blade for his he uses strictly for meat. If you DO use power equipment,

please watch your fingers! Otherwise the crosscut saw works well.


At the cutting table, I usually have 3 5 gallon buckets handy- 1 for trash,

1 for fat, to be later rendered into lard and cracklings, and one for

odd-shaped bits to be made into burger or sausage or jerky- I prefer most

of my meat as steaks or roasts. I have, however, butchered whole pigs into

chunks for whole hog sausage.


Special notes:


Don't discard bones! They can be made into wonderful stock, salt free,

unlike the stuff you get at the store. Marrow is nice, too, and can be

found in any of the long bones.


Don't leave any fat on or in deer meat unless you KNOW you like the flavor-

it's definitely an acquired taste. Instead, substitute beef or pork fat for

burger, or plan on using other fats or oils to cook it with, or wet-cook

it. It does NOT freeze well. And, if you're butchering a deer, after the

liver, the most special treat I know is one of the the back-straps sliced

across-grain while fresh and fried in a cast-iron skillet with just a dab

of salt and pepper. It's also known as the tenderloin, or basicly filet



BEFORE YOU SECTION THE ANIMAL!  If you have a friend who is a Buckskinner

or leatherworker, there is a very tough, silvery ribbon which runs down the

spine of all large animals into the hip. If you wish to make your friend a

special gift, slip a dull knife under this ribbon and run it back and forth

until it comes loose, cut it away at the ends, clean, and dry. You have

just produced real sinew, and although there is plenty of the artificial

stuff around, someone into authenticity will love you for it. You may lose

a little bit of solid meat, but it won't (it shouldn't ! ) be much, and it

goes into the burger bucket.




  In the neck section of any large animal are the thyroid glands. If you

have bled the animal right, they should appear as whitish. REMOVE them!

They contain various hormones that will cause no problem in small doses to

a healthy adult, but can have interesting side effects when ingested as

part of burger, which is what most people use necks for.


Any questions or further commentary is, as usual, welcome.






Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 22:23:55 -0800

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Butchering, Part 2, long again.


> : phlip at morganco.net writes:

> : << while it did cool faster, there was no appreciable flavor difference. >>

> :

> : The above statement suggests that there is "some" detectable flavor

> : difference in the flesh. A question....If m'lady knew that she were going to

> : be serving the meat to the King; and, you had ample time, which way would

> : you cool the carcass?

> :

> : Ras


> If it is detectable, I couldn't detect it.  Depending on time, I'd leave it

> hang entire- less chance for bacteria to find its way to the meat. Given

> insufficient time, I'd either cut it into roasts and steaks and cool it

> that way, or roast the thing entire, depending on what and how I was

> intending to serve. There's a lot of heat in a cow or horse or camel

> carcass, and it takes a while to dissipate. It's also a lot easier to

> handle the cooled carcass.


> phlip at morganco.net


Hi all from Anne-Marie.

In addition to being Dairy Acheivement 4H Girl for 1982 :) I also was

pre-vet for a while, and so have had some experience with meat processing,

etc. Anybody need their eggs graded? :)


It was my recollection that the hanging process served a number of

functions, primarily though, it gave the meat a chance to "de-rigor". In

other words, the animal dies, goes stiff, and then rictus goes away again.

That's when you carve it up and eat it. I believe its an enzymatic process,

I know for sure it's not "decomposition".


To this end, the "cooling period" isnt' so much a reduction of temperature

(or else we could just freeze it and be done with it), but a period so the

meat will be less tough. So for my King, I would want to age the meat

carefully as long as possible, but in an ice house...


- --AM, a woman of much obscure information.



Date: Mon, 18 May 1998 13:38:31 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Beef redaction-An opinion


> <<Chop up the brisket and add back to the water. (is there any real reason I

> can't just cut up the beef before hand?) -Beatrix>>


> <<The original seething was for rybbes so I would suspect that after the first

>  seething , the meat was picked from the bones and then added back to the pot.

>  The bones would add some flavor to the dish but I suspect that if you used

>  boneless beef it would turn out just fine without preboiling.  - Ras >>


> If you cook the meat as a whole piece, then cut up, the resulting chunks of

> meat will retain more of their flavor-- rather than it going into the stew

> water.  This is the reason  modern recipes for stew often instruct one to sear

> the meat chunks before stewing them-- to keep in the juices.


> ~~Minna Gantz <KALLYR at aol.com>


FWIW, depending on medieval butchering techniques versus the details of

modern techniques, the original recipe calls for the meat of the ribs of

the forequarters. So, we know that a forequarter contained some of the

rib meat.  Modern cutting techniques in the U.S.A. call for one rib to

be left on the rear quarter or loin/round structure. My suspicion is

that while it might be reasonable to use any of the front ribs, it might

have been looked on as wasteful even to the medieval cook to use the

"prime rib" cut.


What we're left with are the frontmost ribs, which, in modern butchers'

parlance at least, are really part of the chuck, and, if cut separately,

are commonly known as Club or Delmonico steaks. Yes, definitely a

braising cut. Now, we can't necessarily assume the cutting techniques

are the same, but I'm not aware of any real evidence to indicate they

methods used today are really much different from period cutting

techniques. In the case of hogs, we know that the definition of the loin

has changed somewhat, but I haven't seen anything to suggest that is

true of beef.


For the recipe I'd suggest brisket, chuck, plate, short ribs (yum!) or

Club steak.


As for the question of whether to cook it before cutting it up, I can

only suggest that it depends whether you want a flavorful stock, or a

flavorful meat. As has been said by others, cooking the meat whole keeps

more of the juicers and flavor in the meat. The meat, BTW, is almost

certainly parboiled before cutting up so that its medical nature will be

changed from hot and dry to warm and moist.





Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 00:33:35 -0500

From: a14h at zebra.net (William Seibert)

Subject: Re: SC - Butchering for beginners


On Tue, 23 Jun 1998, LYN M PARKINSON wrote:

> Thank you, Charles, for a very clear explanation.  I don't expect to

> butcher a goat, but if I get a deer the general process should be much

> the same.  I've wondered what I'd do if I had to butcher it, myself.


Deer have a musk gland on the inner side of the rear legs that

must be carefully handled to avoid tainting the meat.





Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 02:38:34 EDTFrom: Mordonna22 at aol.comSubject: Re: SC - sausage and ham smoking stefan at texas.net writes:<< Since you have had some experience in actually making sausage and ham andperhaps other meat preserving techniques, I would love to hear more details.  >>It was a complex and daunting undertaking, our extended family (6 or 7 adults)always invited another family to help, and we went to their "butcherings" tohelp.  There are several specialties involved.We always began in the pre-dawn hours of a winter day, at least a month afterthe first killing frost.  The young and inexperienced (watched by an elder)built and tended the fires (at least two).If we were killing swine, his head was placed in a yoke with a bucket of feedunder him to prevent him from being afraid.  Then the "knacker" would give himone short, hard rap between and slightly above the eyes with a hammer,dropping him where he stood. A good knacker could kill most swine with onehit.For beef, we usually depended on a rifle bullet, as a steer's head is a bitthicker than a boar's.The throat was immediately cut, and the animal hung by it's back legs todrain.While the carcass was draining we gutted it and removed the entrails, beingVERY careful to remove the bile duct without rupturing it.  (Bile can defilean entire carcass)We then removed the hair by pouring boiling water over small patches of hairat a time and using dull knives to pull the hair out.  Using a sharp knifetends to shave the hair and leave the roots in the skin.Then we broke up into three crews.  One to deal with the entrails and sausageand one to cut and portion the meat and one to tend the fires and the cookpots and lard pots.Meat was portioned into pretty standard cuts:  Hams, shoulders, ribs, hocks.The neck bone and tail were special cuts to be saved for feasting later.  WithPork, we usually also cut a section about six inches wide from the length ofthe backbone.  This was known as "white meat" or "Preacher meat". It isespecially pale and tasty.  Any meat scraps were put in container for sausage,and we usually cut the meat from the skull and one shoulder for sausage.Sometimes, (if we had a lot of friends wanting to buy sausage) we would cutthe entire pig up for sausage (saving the backstrap for our selves)All the fat that could be removed was placed into a large pot over amoderately hot fire and stirred often until it was rendered.The entrails crew would clean the liver,  heart,  "lights" (pancreas), lungs,"tripes"(stomach),kidneys intestines, and the hooves. The liver, lights,hooves, and lungs were thrown into a pot along with what remained of theskull, and some salt, pepper, onions, cayennes, and a bit of coriander.  Thispot was allowed to boil over a hot fire, stirred constantly with a boat paddlespecially reserved for the purpose.The tripe and intestines were especially difficult  to clean, and took a LOTof scraping and clear water.  We also often bought commercially prepared sheepintestines for our sausage making, which are sold salted, and had to be soakedand rinsed in clear water several times before being used.The tripe and the heart were sometimes thrown into the pot with the otherentrails, and sometimes reserved to be fried for special treats at a laterdate.If the hams were to be frozen, or eaten immediately (within a week)  they wereiced down then refrigerated.  If they were to be hung they were packed intosalt before they cooled.All the scraps, and the shoulder and head meat were ground fine, then mixedwith a combination that included salt, pepper, cayennes, coriander, brownsugar, sage, and other savory spices according to our tastes.  We had ourspecialist herbalist to spice the sausage.  She is the lady I have spoken ofbefore.  My foster-mother-in-law/great-aunt-in-law/fourth-cousin-in-law. Shewas seventy when I met her in 1965, and Corwyn met her last summer.  She stillspices the sausage for most of the community. Mordonna DuBois



Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 21:31:48 -0400

From: "Philippa Alderton" <phlip at bright.net>

Subject: SC - Dressing out animals including cats (was Aoife and bear, etc.)


When you dress out any animal, you can figure you get about 50% of live

weight in edible portions. Obviously, this will vary, depending on the

species of animal, how fat it is and whether or not you WANT the fat,, the

organs, and so forth, the age/stage of life, whether or not the animal has

been bred as a meat animal, etc. There is a particular breed of beef

cattle, called the Murray Grey which is a sport developed from the Black

Angus, which is advertised as being about 5 % more edible than average

breeds such as white-face (Herefords) or standard black Angus, but never

having dressed one out, I couldn't say. Use 50% as a rough guesstimate, and

you won't go far wrong- if you get more, it's a bonus, if less, either your

butchering techniques leave something to be desired, or you're throwing

away a lot of stuff which is edible, but you may not consider edible.


It is still law in some localities that a rabbit must have one foot left on

the carcass so that people KNOW they're getting rabbit and not cat, as the

cleaned carcasses are very similar.



Caer Frig

Barony of the Middle Marches

Middle Kingdom



Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 12:24:25 +0000

From: wulf at hilconet.com

Subject: Re: SC - Roadkill (Was: A proliferation of venison)


Another way to improve the quality of the meat is while you are

processing it (ie cutting the meat off the bones and sectioning it)

make sure you get ALL of the white and bubbly pieces off of it. While

some fat is flavorful and tasty in beef and other meats..it is NOT

tasty in venison.


Ldy Elsbeth



Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 18:43:52 -0500

From: "Philippa Alderton" <phlip at bright.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Roadkill (Was: A proliferation of venison)


Ldy Elsbeth  says:

> While some fat is flavorful and tasty in beef and other meats..it is NOT

tasty in venison.<


Milady, forgive me, but I feel your description of venison fat is inaccurate.

While it is not "tasty" to most people, because it is too different to most

people's perception of fat, ie beef and pork fat, it is just as tasty to

those of us who appreciate venison fat, as lamb/mutton fat is to those of

us who appreciate lamb and mutton. Granted, we have to understand other

folk's prejudices, but I feel that a proper introduction of any meat,

WELL-PREPARED, will help people over-come their modern prejudices. There is

no difference, IMO, for the vegetables which people "hate".


Allergies are a different subject.



Caer Frig

Barony of the Middle Marches

Middle Kingdom



Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 01:00:52 -0500

From: "Philippa Alderton" <phlip at bright.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Bambi in a car wreck


The scent glands you are referring to are only in bucks, only occur during

breeding season, and are routinely removed by anyone field dressing a deer.


Phlip (Who is beginning to understand why people think venison has a "gamy"


Caer Frig

Barony of the Middle Marches

Middle Kingdom



Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 07:34:02 EST

From: WOLFMOMSCA at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Roadkill (Was: A proliferation of venison)


In a message dated 98-11-19 09:56:10 EST, Micaylah wrote:

<< IF the animal doesn't die immediately and is

quite terrified, the adrenal gland will cause such an influx of adrenaline

as to cause tough gamey meat. Can anyone verify this for me? >>


Yes, adrenaline is one of the bodily substances which will contribute to the

"gaminess" of an animal.  A good long soak in water, and then the marinade of

your choice should remove the "off" taste of the hormone.  





From: "Alderton, Philippa" <phlip at morganco.net>

Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 10:04:45 -0400

Subject: [FTF] Butchering and slaughtering- not for vegetarians.


Adamantius found this for me:

>From Ms. Harl. 4016, Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, Early English

Text Society, 1888, 1962, 1996:


Kede rosted.

Take a kede, and slytte the skyn in (th)e throte, And seke the veyne,

and kut him, and lete him blede to deth; and fle him, And larde him, And

trusse his legges in (th) sides, and roste him, And reyse the shuldres

and legges, and sauce hit with vinegre and salte.


This is some pretty firm proof that

slaughtering by neck slitting wasn't confined to Kosher butchers.





From: "Christina van Tets" <cjvt at hotmail.com>

Date: Thu, 07 Oct 1999 16:42:29 CEST

Subject: [FTF] bread and butchery


and Phlip wrote (this is the bit for vegetarians to avoid):


>With small animals such as rabbit or pheasants or chickens, I used to break

>their necks until my wrists went bad. I can't do rabbits that way any more,

>and I always had felt that they were alive enough that starting in on them

>was simply dealing with a paralyzed animal, so I took to slitting their

>throats. I have one friend who just bashes them with a club- somehow,


>not an act of violence I can handle. Poultry is easy, though- I just wring

>their necks.


If the animal is really small and avian, say a pigeon, you don't need to

wring their neck - birds have a fixed lung rather than a stretchy one like

ours (it's partly how they make such a lot of noise where we couldn't in

proportion) and this means that if you hold them upside down - really upside

down, so the head is directly underneath, they black out. It's then much

easier to deal with them.  Actually with small birds you can just press the

lung and that will kill them, much less messy and distressing (my elder

brother once horrified my younger brother by demonstrating the wringing of

necks, choosing a large bird which wouldn't die, then choosing a very small

one, whereupon the whole head came off...).


As to larger ones, we used to tie the chooks and turkeys by the feet to the

washing line and chop them there - they can't run away and bleed all over

the garden then.  But the largest turkey we got the scouts to do for

'bob-a-job week' (ho ho).  It weighed 35 pounds dressed. Their final

solution (apart from never coming back) was to put the laundry basket over

the turkey, with its head sticking out (easy as it kept trying to escape),

and for one to sit on the basket while the other wielded the axe.  It






From: "Alderton, Philippa" <phlip at morganco.net>

To: "Gaylin Walli" <gwalli at infoengine.com>

Cc: "Stefan" <stefan at texas.net>, "Adamantius" <troy at asan.com>,

        "Field to feast" <field-to-feast at eGroups.com>

Subject: Butchering- long

Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 12:23:31 -0400




Sorry it's taken me so long to respond, but I've been pretty busy, what with

one thing and another. What more did you want to know about the butchering?

I'll give you a few more details here, in hopes that that will help answer

some of your questions. If I'm a bit too basic, forgive me, I'm trying to

anticipate your questions ;-) I'm also sending this to the Field to Feast

List, as well as to a couple of friends.


Hanging the carcass:


There's a tendon in the back of the leg of all animals which is the

eqivalent of our Achilles tendon, but in quadrupeds is much closer to the

bone. You take your knife and cut between it and the bone, and slip your

meat hooks in- it's very strong, and gets stronger with the size of the

animal, so it makes a great way to hang the animal. Obviously, hanging isn't

required for small game like rabbits or squirrels or even suckling pig, but

when you're dealing with a big beast, it's a lot easier to have it hanging

in order to deal with it from all angles. Also, the hanging helps drain the

blood- blood in the muscles will leave a nasty taste.




Skinning is usually done next, unless you're dealing with a hog, in which

case you scald it and use a dull knife to scrape the hair off. Scalding

entails dipping the entire carcass in boiling water, which is a bit beyond

my abilities at the moment since I haven't a scalding pot available, so I

usually skin them too.


Skinning helps avoid getting the hair all over the carcass- that's

particularly important when you're dealing with deer- their hair is hollow

and comes out easily, making a wonderful mess- that's why deer hides are

seldom tanned with the hair on. If you manage to tan a deer hide with the

hair on, it sheds forever. Skinning also helps the carcass cool down faster,

and a quickly cooled carcass tastes a bit better.


To skin, you make a cut from the anus to the throat, and cuts down the

inside of the legs. You make a circle cut on the ends of the limbs, from

wherever you want to collect the hide, and around the neck, and start

peeling. Because of the skin texture, various places on the animal's body

will require slow and careful handling- it's something you just develop a

feel for. The anus, the penis and testicles, or the udder, in the case of

our calf, are one of these areas- the head is another, and the knees and

legs are a third- certain areas of the spine can be difficult also. Be

careful when you make this cut- you don't want to pierce the intestinal

membrane yet, or you'll have a mess.


Skinning technique is easy- you don't cut the skin away from the body so

much as you slice through the connective tissues between the skin and the

muscle mass- for a beginner, a non-pointed skinning knife is a good thing-

it helps you avoid accidents and over-enthusiasm. The value of a hide

reduces by the number of holes in it, and cutting into the dermis makes

holes. Also, you don't want to tear up the muscles- not only does that

reduce the amount of edible meat, but it's a bitch to clean off the inside

of the hide while prepping it for tanning.




Now that you've got the hide off, intact we hope ;-), it's time to remove

the innards.

First, place a plastic sheet under the carcass. Tie off the anus. Slice very

gently through the abdominal membrane, and the innards will come falling

out. The kidneys will usually remain against the spine, nestled in a bed of

fat- the rest of the innards need sorted out. You need to consult an anatomy

text for this one- you need to be familiar with what the organs look like in

order to identify them. Above all else, seperate the gall bladder from the

liver- with a rabbit, you can do it with a fingernail, with bigger animals,

you need a knife- don't try this unless someone shows you how. This is a

gotta- be- shown thing, unless you've done a lot of Bio class dissections,

including mammals.


Head removal:


Head and foot removal can actually be done at any time during the process- I

generally wait until it's skinned and gutted, but you can do it as soon as

it's hung, if that's your preference. All you need for this it a sharp knife

and a hacksaw- the knife to cut through the muscle and other soft tissues,

the hacksaw to cut through the bone. For this, there's really no hard and

fast rule as to where to cut, other than to not cut below the tendons you're

using to hang the beast ;-) Generally, on the neck, I try to cut from the

back of the jaw to the base of the skull, at the atlas and axis bones. Most

people tie off the tube running from the stomach, much as we tie off the

anus- less mess that way.


Once the head is removed, I saw through it medially, in order to remove the

brains and tongue- there are other methods, including skinning the head, or

burning it to remove the hide, and roasting the whole thing, or making a

soup of it, which were used in period. I tend to find them too labor

intensive, and just split the head.




At this point, you can hang the carcass for a day or three, or you can split

it as I'll describe in a couple of paragraphs, and then hang it. The reason

for hanging is not only to cool it out, but to allow various enzymes in the

muscle tissue to help tenderize and flavor the meat. To hang it, you need to

leave it in a cool, dark place, preferably hanging. My prefernce is three or

four days, for the best results. In the case of our veal, she only hung

overnight, but the time from Tuesday morning until Wednesday evening in the

cooler allowed some extra enzymatic action- she was young and tender enough

not to need as much hanging as a full-grown steer would have needed.


Splitting the carcass:


As it happened this time, she was a bit too heavy to leave intact for the

move to the hanging area, so we split her in six pieces. This is, in

essence, no more difficult than piecing out a chicken, you've just got more

mass to work with.


First, you need to start at the bottom- since she's hung by the heels, so to

speak, that means at the shoulders. Unlike with humans, the shoulders of a

quadruped are more or less in a vertical plane with the ground- this doesn't

change much when they're hanging. What you need to do is gently cut through

the tissues between the ribcage and the leg, until you have the shoulder

joint free and accessible. A quick cut through the joint with your saw, or a

more finicky cut through the cartilage with a knife will free the pieces. At

this point, you have what would be the upper arm and forearm on a human, or

the wing on a chicken. Cut a hole under the shoulder blade, and hang them.


Next, cut the animal through the spine, usung your meat or hack saw, trying

to keep the cut as balanced as you can, then do the center of the chest, the

breast bone- you're trying for a vertical plane through the standing body-

if you get too far off to either side, you'll be messing up the meat on that



Next, you want to seperate the spine/ribcage from the hind legs at the hips.

This requires a saw- the joint is just too heavy for a knife to cut through.

You basicly do the same thing that you did at the shoulders, the angles are

just a bit different. Do keep in mind, that having removed a piece on one

side, the other side will be heavier, so it's going to sink to/towards the

ground unless you hold it. If you're doing it alone, a piece of fresh

plastic will prevent the heavy side from hitting the ground.


Hang everthing, and worry about the fine cutting in a day or two, or, if

it's already been hung, cut and wrap the pieces as needed.


I'm not going to go into the fine cutting and trimming, because that's a

whole different ball game. If you get to this point, and want to do the

cutting and wrapping for the freezer yourself, there are many sources of

information, including your county extension office, and most of the good

grocery stores. I'm particularly thankful for the information I was given by

the Kroger chain's main office in Columbus, Ohio- I discussed what I wanted

for teaching purposes, and he copied me appropriate pages from their meat

cutting manuals- any good grocery which butchers should do the same.



Philippa Farrour

Caer Frig

Southeastern Ohio



Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 09:06:01 -0500

From: phlip at morganco.net

Subject: Re: SC - Kid Slaughtering age


grizly at mindspring.com wrote:

> Can someone here tell me the appropriate age to slaughter a kid?  I

want to find an animal that is still young and milder tasting than an

old nanny or Billy.  I have located a source locally for yearlings and

new birth this year.  I'm gathering info about slaughtering and ages

and the like.  I'm going to avoid wielding the knife myself since the

aprtment managers would frown on it.


> niccolo


Well, it really depends on how tender you want it to be vs how much

meat you want. Milk fed, ie before it goes on grass or other solid

feed is the tenderest- that's about up to the first month. It also has

the least flavor.


They're usually pretty good up until the 6th month, at which point the

males start developing/dropping their testicles, which is what gives

them the strong flavor, despite the basic tenderness.


My suggestion would be to get a wether (neutered male) at about 6-9

months of age, for the best combination of flavor, tenderness, and






Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 23:22:01 -0400

From: "Philippa Alderton" <phlip at morganco.net>

Subject: Re: Re: SC - Kid Slaughtering age


Niccolo skrev:

>I knew I should have sent this right to you. . . forgive my lack of

foresoight!  >How big a carcasse are we talking about at 6-9 months, and

about how much >meat?  I'm thinking it couldn't be more than 15 pounds total

carcasse dressed to >roast.


Well. that's problematical. You see, there are a large number of varieties

of goats available, and they vary considerably in size. You could get a

Pygmy at that age, and have a roast about the size of a rabbit, or you could

get a larger breed, and have a roast the size of a small horse.


Basicly, if you've got a good butcher, you can expect a carcass about half

the size/weight of the animal on the hoof. Goats, as a general rule, being

rather lean, will be on the lower end of the weight scale- sheep and calves

somewhat higher, pigs somewhere even higher, depending on how much fat you

develop on the animal. You also need to decide how much of the carcass

you're going to use.


When we did the rabbits for Ras' feast (Will's Revenge), we used the basic

carcass plus selected innards, for his dressing. When we did the lamb at

Pennsic last year, we used rather more- I did the head, Ras used the

testicles, Badger made a Haggis, the blood, some intestines and connective

tissue got thrown away, but I'd bet we tossed less than 5 lbs of offall,

because we had uses for the hide, the feet, and almost everything- much the

same happened when I butchered the veal calf for MK Coronation.


My suggestion to you, is to get a goatling, preferably a wether, about twice

the size of the amount of meat you intend to feed your guests, and make sure

there's plenty of other stuff to feed them, just in case you're not as

efficient as others might be. Now is a good time to buy a goat- last stock

sale I was at, none of them, regardless of size, went for more than

$30/head. Wish I was closer to you- I'd be happy to help, with buying,

butchering, and whatever.




Philippa Farrour

Caer Frig

Southeastern Ohio



Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2000 20:05:46 -0500

From: "Philippa Alderton" <phlip at morganco.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Deerhide help (kinda-sorta on topic)


As far as removing the hide, make sure your guy knows what he's doing.

Basicly, the technique is to pull the hide away from the flesh, and sever

the connective tissue- if you cut into the meat, you're messing up a rather

neat package, and if you cut into the hide, you'll have holes, which will

make it fairly worthless, if you have more that one or two.


I'm assuming here, that your guy is butchering the standard way- a slit from

the throat to the vent, slits up the inside if the legs, and rings around

where you want the hide to end, on the legs, and the neck.


Easiest way to skin a large animal is to hang it. I prefer head down, others

will argue head up, but head down is easiest for me. To do this

convenie4ntly, make a careful slit in the hing legs between the bone and the

Achilles tendon- that way you can slip a rope through, if you don't have a

hanger, or you can slip the hooks from the hanger through.


The areas to be most careful with are around the legs- very thin skin, takes

a bit of doing to pull it away intact- around the vent and genitals, either

gender- same problem. There are other slow areas- just take your time, and

feel the "grain" of the animal.


The best edible bits have likely been thrown away in the field dressing- the

heart, kidneys, liver and sweetbreads are likely still back in the field- I

don't suggest going back after them ;-)Obviously, if he's wanting a trophy,

the brains aren't available either. Penis and testicles are quite edible-

see Ras for testicle recipes.


As far as useful, non-edible parts, of course there's the hide- I'll get

into that in a bit, after you get it off. The legs, from the knees down are

saveable- many folks fold them, dry them, and use them as coat hooks, or a

gun rack under the trophy. The best part to get, though, of the parts that

most folks don'r save, is the sinew. This is a white/silvery ribbon running

fron the hip up the spine. It is distinctly inedible, but makes very nice

threat for sewing leather. To harvest it, look for it, then slip a very dull

knife- a butter knife wil work- between it and the carcass, and lift and

slide it out. You'll lose a bit of meat here, but only a few ounces. BTW-

there's one on each side.... When you get that, clean it of carefully,

removing all muscle tissue, and put it aside- you're wanting to let it dry.

Do not leave it out where your cat or dog can get to it- they can't digest

it, but they'll certainly try. Once it's good and dry, you can split it into

fairly fine threads.


As far as the hide goes, clean out the inside of all meat and connective

tissue, if you can, before you dry it. You can do it later, but it's much

easier to do fresh. Once you've done that, lay it out somewhere flat, flesh

side up, and salt the bloody blue blazes out of it- an inch or so of salt is

about right- and leave it alone to dry- a fan in the room, to help circulate

air will speed things up. Once it's dry, you can put it up and keep it dry-

if you think you'll do this more than once, save the salt and use it again.


If you want to get your taxidermist to tan it, fine, but be prepared to pay

a good buck. If you'd like to try doing it yourself, you can go to:



for braintanning and a lot of links, or Tandy Leather has kits for sale at:



Either Tannit or Tannery in a box will work- I like the latter because it

was easier for me to just buy it, and replace the chemicals when needed.




With deer hides, take the hair off unless you want the thing shedding for

the next 10 years, until all the hair falls our. Deer hair is a hollow fiber

which tends to shed, unlike the hair of most NA mammals.


Philippa Farrour

Caer Frig

Southeastern Ohio



Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2000 07:22:13 EST

From: Mordonna22 at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - bourreys


<<  Given the choice in a meat recipe I'd

lean toward the diaphragm more that ears, they being nothing more than

cartilage. I'm not a word scholar by any means, but why would you put pork

ears in a stew- even chopped small, wouldn't they be kinda chewy?

Beatrix >>


It may have been for the thickening property of the cartilage.  I know that

when my German-American in-laws butchered a hog, the entire head went into

the pot with all the organ meats, thusly:


The hog was killed, then hung by the heels from a yoke.  

Boiling water was poured over the carcass, and it was scraped to remove all

the hair.  An incision was made around the anus, and down the center front,

and the organs and intestines carefully removed and reserved.

The head was tilted back and removed.

The skull was split open and the brains, tongue, windpipe, ears, and eyes

were removed.  

The skull was washed, and placed in a large pot with enough water to just

cover it over a hot fire.  Sometimes , if we sweren't pickling them, the feet

were cleaned and added along with the skull.

The brains were reserved to be served scrambled with eggs for breakfast the

next morning as a special treat for the head of the house.

The eyes were discarded.

The windpipe was washed and thrown in the pot with the head.

The ears and tongue were washed and scraped, and thrown into the pot.

The organ meats were prepared thusly:

The lungs ("lights"), and spleen ("sweetbread" or "milt") were simply washed

and thrown into the pot with the head.

The liver was washed, and the gall bladder carefully removed before it went

into the pot.

The kidneys were washed, then split open and an internal membrane removed

before they went in.

Five or six pounds of onions were peeled and coarsely chopped and added, with

a handfull of coarse salt and one of black pepper, and four or five dried


This pot was kept boiling, being stirred frequently by a young man with a

boat paddle, adding just enough water occasionally to keep it from sticking,

until the rest of the hog had been prepared for storage and put away.  As the

butchers prepared the rest of the meat, any scraps, such as extra skin and

fat trimmed from the hams, were thrown into the pot .

At the end, after the lard was rendered, and the sausage made, and the hams

put away, the bones were lifted from the pot.  Any meat remaining on the

bones was removed and returned to the pot.  

The pot was only removed from the fire when the contents had been cooked into

a mush, with nothing retaining its original shape or texture.  By this time,  

most of the cartilage in the ears had been broken down to the point that it

simply acted as a thickening agent for the mush.

This pot meat was served hot over rice as the evening meal for the butchers.  

Any that was left over was canned in glass jars, because it does not keep

well in the freezer.

Some of our neighbors did it differently, though, using the head and feet as

a basis for souse meat, which was made with a sour spice mix involving

vinegar and a horrid smell.  The cartiliginous parts served to make a gel to

bind the souse.  I'm sorry, but I was never able to endure the process

because of the odor, so I don't have a recipe for souse meat.  I'm sure

others on the list can accomodate there.


Mordonna The Cook



Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 09:55:22 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Hog, etc roaster for sale, on line...

To: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net, Cooks within the SCA

      <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise wrote:

> But how much wastage is there on a 100 lb pig?


Depends on size of pig. Bigger pig equals less waste.

65 per cent meat I think is the given rule for dressed.







Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 10:01:32 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

      <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Hog, etc roaster for sale, on line...

To: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net, Cooks within the SCA

      <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Also sprach Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise:

>> but it only cooks up to 100 lbs pigs...

>>  i think i want two... plus one for the chickens

>>  mind you, this is just for a medium feast...


> Hm....

> Can we talk about feast quantities now?


> 2/3 to 3/4 of a pound meat per person TOTAL is plenty for a feast, at

> least where I come from...


> But how much wastage is there on a 100 lb pig?


_VERY ROUGHLY_, a whole, dressed, on the bone quadruped is going to

hover somewhere loosely around the 50% edible portion. Pigs, since a

certain amount of fat is expected, because some of the skin is

edible, and because they're now bred for more meat, will go somewhat

higher percentage-wise, than, say, a dressed baby calf or a lamb, or

a deer. If you have an undressed animal with guts and such, and

aren't planning on eating the guts, that will, of course, add to the

perceived waste.


But let's say 50% is a reasonable rule of thumb for a dressed pig --

figure on somewhere around 50 lbs raw pork muscle meat from a 100-lb

pig. Roughly 70 servings...


Johnnae's numbers, which are more pig-specific than mine, would give

you closer to 90 servings.





Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 09:55:22 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Hog, etc roaster for sale, on line...

To: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net, Cooks within the SCA

      <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise wrote:

> But how much wastage is there on a 100 lb pig?


Depends on size of pig. Bigger pig equals less waste.

65 per cent meat I think is the given rule for dressed.







Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 10:01:32 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

      <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Hog, etc roaster for sale, on line...

To: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net, Cooks within the SCA

      <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Also sprach Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise:

>> but it only cooks up to 100 lbs pigs...

>>  i think i want two... plus one for the chickens

>>  mind you, this is just for a medium feast...


> Hm....

> Can we talk about feast quantities now?


> 2/3 to 3/4 of a pound meat per person TOTAL is plenty for a feast, at

> least where I come from...


> But how much wastage is there on a 100 lb pig?


_VERY ROUGHLY_, a whole, dressed, on the bone quadruped is going to

hover somewhere loosely around the 50% edible portion. Pigs, since a

certain amount of fat is expected, because some of the skin is

edible, and because they're now bred for more meat, will go somewhat

higher percentage-wise, than, say, a dressed baby calf or a lamb, or

a deer. If you have an undressed animal with guts and such, and

aren't planning on eating the guts, that will, of course, add to the

perceived waste.


But let's say 50% is a reasonable rule of thumb for a dressed pig --

figure on somewhere around 50 lbs raw pork muscle meat from a 100-lb

pig. Roughly 70 servings...


Johnnae's numbers, which are more pig-specific than mine, would give

you closer to 90 servings.





Date: Sat, 16 Sep 2006 10:43:58 -0400

From: "Saint Phlip" <phlip at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pig Question

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Roughly about 75 lbs, between them.


As a rule of thumb, you can figure 50% usable meat on any critter,

after slaughter and cleaning. These sound like a good size for both a

reasonable quantity of meat, and for reasonable tenderness, so enjoy



On 9/16/06, Daniel  Phelps <phelpsd at gate.net> wrote:

> I've a friend who has two young boars surplus in his herd of pot  

> belly pigs.  He says they run about 75 lbs on the hoof.  As I'm  

> thinking feast can anyone tell me how many pounds one of these  

> would work out to gutted, cleaned and prepared for roasting?


> Daniel



Date: Sat, 16 Sep 2006 09:49:16 -0500

From: "Pat Griffin" <ldyannedubosc at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pig Question

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


We always figured that the dressed weight was about half the weight  

on the hoof.




-----Original Message-----

I've a friend who has two young boars surplus in his herd of pot belly pigs.

He says they run about 75 lbs on the hoof.  As I'm thinking feast can anyone

tell me how many pounds one of these would work out to gutted, cleaned and

prepared for roasting?





Date: Sat, 16 Sep 2006 10:10:28 -0700

From: Susan Fox <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pig Question

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


On 9/16/06 7:31 AM, "Daniel  Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net> wrote:


> I've a friend who has two young boars surplus in his herd of pot belly pigs.

> He says they run about 75 lbs on the hoof.  As I'm thinking feast can anyone

> tell me how many pounds one of these would work out to gutted,  

> cleaned and prepared for roasting?


> Daniel

> ____________


Less than you might think.  Author Kayla Mull [Pot-Bellied Pet Pigs:

Mini-Pig Care and Training], aka Lady Molly Gill Bride in the SCA, says that

they run more to lard than to munchable meat.  But 'twould make a grand

spectacle for a head table.


I will try to get back into contact with Kayla and ask her.


In the meantime, I'm looking at the usual sources for whole roast pig

recipes and they say to ensure adequate portions, allow at least 2 pounds of

carcass weight (head on) per person.  But that is for a "meat pig" rather

than this particular breed, so I might venture to allow more like 3.


As ever - Pig Fat Rules!




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