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Want To Try Your Hand At Home Butchering?
Every now and then readers ask FARM SHOW: Doesn't anyone do home butchering any more? What's happened to old-time neighborhood butchering bees? Where can we get a "how-to" book on home butchering.
Here's the information many of you have been looking for:
One of the best, most complete "how-to" guides on home butchering, first published many years ago by the Morton Salt Co., is still in print. It shows step by step how to butcher pork, beef or lamb. The section on hog butchering, for example, gives detailed instructions and illustrations on scalding, splitting the aitch bone, and removing the entrails. There are four illustrated pages on how to cut up the carcass. The booklet also covers home-curing of ham and bacon, how to render the lard, and recipes for making such delicacies as head cheese, blood sausage, pigs feet, cured tongue, scrapple or panhas.
The 42-page booklet is available for $2.95, including shipping. Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Cumberland General Store, Rt. 3, Crossville, Tenn. 38555. Ask for the Morton "Home Butchering and Meat Curing" booklet.
Butchering Bee
In Coshocton County, Ohio, an old-fashioned neighborhood hog butchering "bee" is still going. On a cool day in late November or early December, several neighbors help
Dean Wyler butcher five or six hogs. Within the next few days, he goes to their farms and butchers for them.
"It's something we've done here for a long time," says Wyler, "but our group is getting smaller. There used to be 12 or 13 places to go for butchering. Now there's only about three of us who still butcher at home. We save money doing it ourselves and it's also a nice social gathering."
Butchering day starts early with preparation of a fire for scalding and for cooking down lard, and lots of activity in the house preparing food for the butchering crew. By the end of a typical "butchering day," about six hogs will have been processed.
Hog butchering is an art that has been handed down from generation to generation around Fresno in Coshocton County. The crew has specialized jobs. Wyler shoots the hogs, a neighbor sticks and bleeds them, and almost everyone takes part in scraping off the hair. Wyler has rigged up an old bath tub to use as a dipping vat before scraping.
He's a dairy farmer who sells feeder pigs as a sideline, holding back a few choice hogs to fatten for home butchering. "Much of the meat is canned because it's easy to store and handy to use all through the year. Our group used to also butcher an occasional beef or veal, but it's mostly hogs now," he points out.
What's the future for home butchering around Fresno?
Wyler says there are signs of renewed interest. The local Vo-Ag class is considering a butchering course to be offered in high school, and several FFA members are planning to participate in next fall's "butchering day" at the Wyler farm.

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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #5