Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat and Pork – A Book Review

In Book Reviews, BUTCHERY, Livestock & Pasture, PORK, POULTRY, Reference by James0 Comments

Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat and Pork: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering by Adam Danforth is the second of Adam’s two books that I have read – the first one covered beef (Read Here). This book as the title suggests covers multiple animals and like the Beef book is quite comprehensive and loaded with brilliant photos. This book is another fantastic reference book. It’s a book that takes you through the step by step process for each animal mentioned in the title, starting from slaughter and finishing with individual cuts of meat.

[Hover the arrow over the photos to stop the slide show]


What’s In The Book?

Chapter 1: From Muscle to Meat – This chapter is filled with information about the science of muscles and meat. It covers muscle structure, fibers, connective tissues, collagen, fats, and aging meat. Chapter 2: Food Safety – In this chapter Danforth covers the basics of food safety including pathogens and contamination, types of pathogens, preventing the spread of pathogens, killing pathogens with heat, and cold storage. Chapter 3: Tools & Equipment – In this chapter Danforth introduces all the different knives a butcher may choose to use along with other supplemental tools, tabletop equipment such as bench scrapers and butcher’s twine, clothing, and optional equipment. Chapter 4: Butchering Methods – Here Danforth covers the foundations such as the different grips for holding the knives, honing rod (sharpening your knives), trimming, denuding, seam cutting, boning, portioning, and knot making. Chapter 5: Pre-Slaughter Conditions & General Slaughter Techniques –  This chapter starts with preparing the animals the day before, stunning, exsanguination, hoisting, skinning, evisceration, edible offal, carcass cooling, cleanup and disposal, tools and clothes for slaughtering, and required space. Chapter 6: Chicken Slaughtering – This chapter is all about chickens. The chapter includes anatomy, setting up for slaughter, slaughtering, plucking, cleaning and evisceration, other poultry (turkeys, ducks, and geese), aging, packing and cleanup. Chapter 7: Chicken Butchering – This chapter covers the entire butchering process including different options one can choose during the process. Chapter 8: Rabbit Slaughtering – Included is anatomy, setup, stunning, slaughtering, skinning, evisceration, and post slaughter. Chapter 9: Rabbit Butchering – This chapter covers the entire butchering process including different options one can choose during the process. Chapter 10: Sheep & Goat Slaughtering, Chapter 11 Sheep & Goat Butchering, Chapter 12: Pig Slaughtering, and Chapter 13: Pork Butchering all cover the same format as the chicken and rabbit chapters. The book concludes with Chapter 14: Packaging & Freezing which covers the basics of freezing different types of tissues along with the best packaging for what your freezing goals are.

Final Thoughts of a Wannabe Farmer 

The conclusion is this is a fantastic resource book. Danforth’s presentation and logical layout of the information makes the book in my view an introduction into butchery as well as a reference book that can be utilized until you wear the pages thin, or they become unreadable from blood stains; I think that’s avoidable though with some care and attention. I’m looking forward to getting my hands bloody and putting this book to use in the coming years. For now I’ll be studying and dreaming of the day when I can process own food.

Buy the book via Amazon by clicking HERE (It’s an affiliate link so I get a little kickback if you buy. Thanks!)


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