Goat Processing Day

Warning: this post contains graphic images and descriptions. If you’re going to get offended by knowing where meat comes from, don’t look!

The goats were from our neighbor and intended for meat right from the start. They were excess dairy bucklings who didn’t look like they’d ever amount to herd sires. We castrated them as soon as they got onto our farm, which made sure that they stayed sweet and pleasant to be around. It also made sure that they didn’t start peeing on themselves and smelling like a buck as soon as they hit goat puberty. I bottle raised BBQ, the adorable brown and black kid. Curry, a mostly white goat, came to us already weaned at 30 days old.

Goats are like small deer, and so butchering them is the same. The experience was pleasant the whole way through, which means we will definitely be getting goats again in the future.

First we led BBQ from the pasture to the yard. We tied him to a post and set down his favorite sweet feed in front of him, which he immediately started gobbling up. Then Hannah shot him, he went down, and I quickly slit his throat so that he could bleed out properly.

There was no trauma of loading him into the car and driving him the 1.5 hours to the slaughterhouse, no waiting in an unfamiliar place with strange animals and people. And it was infinitely better than nature’s options: a coyote ripping his throat out; winter starvation; disease. He had a simple life and death at home. Which is all I really want, too.

Next, we hung him up by the tendons like with a deer. Goats you don’t have to tie off the butt as their droppings are tidy little pellets. I skinned and gutted him with ease. Then the carcass was brought inside to be fully washed and cut into smaller pieces.

We did whole goat loins instead of chops as we had no equipment to cut the spine with. Then we had neck roasts. Other than that, we mostly did stew meat and ground goat.

I loved my little goat babies, but I also appreciate the time, labor, and feed I have saved by not keeping them over the winter. Instead, I have a whole mess of goat curry, goat tacos, and goat roast to look forward to.

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