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Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering Paperback – March 11, 2014

4.9 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"These are not mere how-to guides: they are the equivalent of in-depth college courses."
Countryside & Small Stock Journal

“These books were written by a man who loves livestock, and loves meat – with reverence.”
The Shepherd

"Breathtaking guide through the paradoxical process of killing animals with compassion. ... a transformative wake-up call."
Publishers Weekly

"It’s informative, it’s comprehensive, and above all else, it’s reverent and respectful of the animals giving their lives so we can live ours.”
Hobby Farms


“Adam Danforth’s two new books about butchering feature tasteful photographs and a thorough explanation of each step of the process. … [They]make you feel like you can raise and process your own livestock, and do it thoughtfully and skillfully … [and] provide new insights for all of us about butchering and its impact on the quality of meat.”

(Kitchen Arts & Letters)

“These are not mere how-to guides: they are the equivalent of in-depth college courses. … What’s more, this is not just academic data: there are practical applications, and not only for homestead butchers. Anyone who cooks or eats meat would benefit from much of this information. … On a scale of 1-10, these easily rank 12, minimum.”

(HobbyFarms.com)

“[A] breathtaking guide through the paradoxical process of killing animals with compassion. … For those who have embraced the farm to table movement and are ready to take matters into their own hands, this is required reading. For those whose consideration of meat and poultry begins and ends at the supermarket, it is a transformative wake-up call.”

(The Shepherd)

“There's an entire industry of professionals who humanely raise and slaughter animals for a living, in an intensely personal and responsible way that's to be admired. One of those professionals is Adam Danforth, the author of a new book series that sets out to educate those interested in humanely slaughtering their own food.”



“If you’re interested in self-sustainability and raising livestock for meat consumption, this book is the next step in your process. It’s informative, it’s comprehensive, and above all else, it’s reverent and respectful of the animals giving their lives so we can live ours.”



“These books were written by a man who loves livestock, and loves meat – with reverence.”

From the Back Cover

Quality Meat from Poultry, Rabbits, Sheep, Goats, and Pigs


Locally raised animals, humanely slaughtered and expertly butchered. This is the best meat we can eat and, with Adam Danforth's comprehensive manual, you can learn the skills necessary to take an animal calmly and efficiently from pasture to freezer.


Every step of the slaughtering process -- from selecting the proper equipment to preparing, stunning, and bleeding the animals -- is presented with careful consideration for the animals' well-being and your safety.


Butcher the carcass to maximize food yield and get the cuts you want. You'll find various options for breaking down each species, with hundreds of step-by-step photographs that put you at the butcher's table to observe the art of cutting and boning, trimming fat and connective tissue, and rolling and tying.


Scrupulous attention to sanitation and detailed instructions for packaging and freezing your meat for the best quality, appearance, and freshness ensure that the animals you process will nourish and satisfy everyone they feed.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; Com edition (March 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612121829
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612121826
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.1 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book describes the setup, tools, steps and details of on-farm processing of livestock animals, and the subsequent butchering, packaging and storage of the same.

If you are looking at your own on-farm slaughter, then this book walks you through everything you need to know: tools, location, setup, killing, bleeding, evisceration, skinning (or scalding hogs/plucking poultry), cooling, cutting into primals, breaking down sub-primals, cutting individual portions, and finally packaging and storage. If you are looking to process an already-slaughtered animal (from a processor), then the handling of the carcass is also handled exceptionally well.

The book covers a lot of territory. The slaughter operations is detailed, and the photos are clear and descriptive. For those who might be looking for a "coffee table book", please skip this one. The pictures are quite detailed and many are not the least bit appropriate for the squeamish.

Slaughter is covered for pig, goat, lamb, chicken, duck, goose and some more I probably forgot. You learn those and you can tackle most anything (note that there are no "game" processing in here - it does not cover deer processing through the book would absolutely help you there, as well).

Likewise, lots of detailed pictures on butchery of a carcass. There are useful and engaging sections on the biology and chemistry of muscle and aging - from rigor mortis through outright decay. The trick is to find the happy middle, and this book gets you there by discussing proper aging techniques and times, as well as what to look for and what to expect.

The book shines especially for on-farm or homesteader operations.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a long time chef with an interest in butchery I have viewed and participated in many whole animal breakdowns. In anticipation of the release of "Butchering" I pre-ordered a pig to break down solo. The color and detail of the photos are beautiful but hardly the most impressive part. The comments were invaluable with descriptions on how to find the right places to cut and why you might also try cutting in a different location. I've traditionally cut large roasts and whole muscles for high volume dining so I really appreciated the details down to the steak and how to utilize all the individual muscles of the ham. I'm looking forward to purchasing another whole animal to try out another chapter but not until I make a dent in my chest freezer.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got the book yesterday, and have spent a couple hours reading through it, but haven't read the whole thing cover to cover (yet). This book is packed full of actual useful information. Want to learn how to check if an animal is still aware after you've shot/stunned it? Tap it's eyeball. If it blinks, you have more wore work to do to minimize its suffering.

This book covers everything from slaughtering to ending up with usable cuts of meat. The descriptions are thorough and the pictures are great. It does a great job of describing what can be a very detailed and daunting task for someone who has never done the work before. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We're not novices by any stretch...having done hundreds of chickens and easily thousands of rabbits. However, we've only done a handful of lamb's, goats, and pigs.

I love the authors approach to pro/con slaughter methods, and the detailed, crisp photographs. This book is accessible to any level...from beginner to those accustomed to slaughter but want to refine their technique. The detail given on the different muscles on these larger mammals was exactly what I was looking for, and compared to other books on the market, it frankly blows them away both in pictorial and in commentary. I also have to say as someone who raises livestock I appreciate the obvious quality of the animals that are pictured. Dare I say meat porn?

This book will replace our previous recommendation of "The basic butchering of livestock and game" and it doesn't hurt that the price points are similar.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have reviewed another book in this series. In that review, I opined that most of us would also want to own this book. I bought it. Adam Danforth offers the best currently available series on the craft of professional butchering. I have been 'cutting up in the kitchen' ever since Merle Ellis had a column on the subject and I also own his books. This is the 'next generation' look at 'how to' prepare and animal for the most humane slaughter possible, how to 'do the deed' and how to break down a carcass into a variety of usable parts without having to cook the tendons and sinews and silverskin or any fatty tissue you may think of as unwanted. The pictures here are 'first-rate' and they show the process in a visually instructive step-by-step manner.

If I thought that my children and grandchildren would be interested in this exemplary look at where 'supermarket' cuts come from, I would buy everyone of them a set of Adam Danforth's books. For my specific interests, this one on Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat and Pork and the one on Beef covers my 'waterfront.'
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