|Quite a sight isn't it?|
Removing the offal from a freshly shot Ox.
The carcass is hanging from theforks of a small farm tractor.
Quite a few steak dinners in this photo actually! Also lots of sausages, mince, roasts, meat for the dogs, and stuff left at the kill site, for wild animals to come along & hoe into!
The process of slaughter can make you feel a bit queasy.
The beast is shot in the very late afternoon. Usually it is in the stockyards. A large yard with a big gate is used, to enable machinery access to the dead body.
The beast is shot in the brain, through the stockyard rails, with a rifle. Most people use a high calibre, for guaranteed penetration through the front of the skull. I preferred a .22 calibre, and aimed at the butt of the ear. This meant that someone would have to be at my 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock to distract the beast.
Immediately the beast falls, the crew go in as rapidly as possible. The blood has to be let out fast, before it coagulates and flavours the meat. An opening will be made in the front, below the throat, hacking up as close to the heart as possible. Then someone will place their foot on the haunch/kidney region and rock the body, to pump out blood. The rocking is assisted by pulling back on the tail, then pushing with your foot. This continues until the flow of blood has slowed to negligible.
Then the body is dragged away by a tractor, usually with a pin through the back legs and hung on forklift forks. Away from the stockyards the carcass is skinned, then slowly lifted up, with all the offal & unwanted parts being cut out.
By this time it is usually dark, and the operation is completed under vehicle headlights. That is what is happening in the photo above.
When this is completed, the carcass is carried to the station buildings, then lifted up high to prevent dingos and other animals getting at it during the night.
The carcass is left hanging overnight, in the cool.
Early the next morning, say 4am, we start cutting it up. As parts are cut off, they will be designated and designated either as one of the prime cuts, or as "mince", or "for the dogs", or "soup bone" or whatever.
By breakfast time the entire beast is packed into the freezer, either as bulk prime cuts (cutting into portions will usually come later) bulk mince, or (already made into) sausages.