How to field dress and skin a goat

Gutting and skinning a goat

David Dunne explains the process of gutting and skinning a goat for meat. 

Gutting

Step 1

Hang and bleed the goat by making an incision just above the heart at the arteries. 

Step 2 

Remove the head and front hocks. Open up the neck fully from the bleeding incision. 

Step 3

Remove the testes and genitalia.  

Step 4 

Make a small incision in the gut – making sure not to puncture any of the organs. Place the handle of your knife into the carcass, with the blade sticking outward push down toward the chest. 

Step 5 

Remove the anus. Cut a 5cm (2 inch) ring around the anus, carefully cutting the attached membranes and freeing the colon. It’s really important not to puncture anything here.

Step 6 

Push the anus through the the front – where the organs are hanging. Pull the organs out towards yourself and downward. Slice through the diaphragm walls (the thin membrane separating the chest from the abdomen), working all the way through to the spine to separate it. Now take hold of the windpipe, making sure to grab it above the lungs and heart. Pull it towards you until it’s taut, then sever with your knife. 

Step 7 

Tug firmly on the windpipe, removing all the entrails in one strong movement. If they don’t come away easily, see if there’s any tissue still connecting it to muscle and slice this away.  

Skinning

*This animal was utilised purely for meat, if you are going to skin it this way the skin won’t be able to be utilised for tanning. A different method of skinning will need to be used if you do want to tan the hide of your goat. 

Step 1 

Cut away and remove skin from the chest and the under side of the front legs (closest to the chest). Then slice the skin around the front legs. 

Step 2 

Separate the skin on both sides of the flank cutting up towards the back legs. 

Step 3 

Make an incision in the skin at the inner thigh cutting up just above the hock on both sides. This will help you easily remove the skin on the inside of the back legs. 

Step 4 

Pull the skin out and, using your knife, slice your way around the back legs and making sure the flank is now fulling separated on both sides. 

Step 5 

Come around the back of the goat now and start removing the skin on the back of the legs, starting up near the hocks. You can now start to pull the skin downward and cutting the membrane between the skin and the meat. 

Step 6 

Using a small hand/tea towel for grip hold onto the flank and with the other hand start pulling the skin away from the meat. This can be quite a difficult task with goats but the towel should help. 

Step 7 

Once the skin is removed from both flanks, remove the tail by cutting it at the closest vertebrae to the carcass. The continue cutting the skin away around the tail area, again pulling the skin back toward yourself and down as you do. 

Step 8 

Use one hand to hold onto the skin and place the other hand in a fist closer to the carcass, punch down on the skin with your fist to start separating the skin. This can be quite difficult with goats and you may want to use your knees and body weight when the skin is far enough down. 

Step 9 

Pull the skin away from the front legs and front of neck. Using your body weight again, pull the rest of the skin off the back of the neck, freeing the skin completely from the carcass. 

Step 10 

Split the carcass at the cartilage of the pelvis, between the legs. Then split the rib cage down towards the incision at the base of the throat.

Step 11

Remove any of the blooded flesh around the throat where the animal was bled. And you are now ready to hang your carcass in the cool room. 

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