Gun of choice, bovine slaughter?


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VTmtn.man
March 15, 2013, 07:37 PM
For the 1st time, I'll be slaughtering a 1200 lb cow... Just wondering if it would be better to set up 50 - 100 yds back and put a hunting round through the ear or get up close, above/between the eyes with a shotgun/handgun? Considerations are bleeding it out promptly, either case, this should be acheivable. I've never shot something up close & it seems to be a tougher thing to do... I've had some farmers tell me a .22 and others say a shotgun w/ shot shells up close. For the 'newbie' what would be the least stressful for both parties involved?

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Coop45
March 15, 2013, 07:44 PM
Have you tried wringing it's neck? LOL!

rswartsell
March 15, 2013, 07:48 PM
No experience with cattle, gramps used a long barrel .22 revolver on his hogs. Always worked, very close up. Don't think it was to forehead, probably ear.

Didn't you see No Country for Old Men? That compressed air hammer Javier Bardem carried is what the pros use.

AlexanderA
March 15, 2013, 07:49 PM
Leave it to a professional. Take it to a slaughterhouse.

VTmtn.man
March 15, 2013, 07:53 PM
Thanks 'Coop45'! didn't think of that method... From what I've gathered there is a bit of physiology at play in the methods used. Some like to use a small cal. .22 to brain dead the cow, while the heart still pumps the blood out of the tissues. I'm thinking dead w/o warning is the way to start out. Just looking for serious advice on the best way to humanely tackle this task...

toiville2feathers
March 15, 2013, 07:57 PM
Feed it in the feed bunk. You want the cow calm and content when you kill it. Take a 38 special, draw imaginary lines from the eye on one side to between the ear and horn on the other side. X marks the spot and pull the trigger. Don't chase the animal before you shoot it or get it worked up, you will end up with tough meat because its full of adrenalin. Cut the throat immediately so it bleeds out

Coop45
March 15, 2013, 08:03 PM
We had to stop wringing their necks when Granny got down in the back and couldn't chunk them anymore. Good luck!

VTmtn.man
March 15, 2013, 08:04 PM
Thanks 'Toiville2feathers'! I have a .38 special but never would have thought about using it for this purpose. Is there a reason why this would be better suited than a 9mm, .40, .44, .45 ? Interested in the logic?

silicosys4
March 15, 2013, 08:20 PM
Here's a guide I found while researching a cartridge called the ".310 cattle killer"
It shows where to aim when dispatching farm animals by firearms

http://www.nrvoutdoors.com/HUMANE%20KILLERS/BANG.htm

primalmu
March 15, 2013, 08:24 PM
A .22 LR will work just fine if you use a rifle. We use captive bolts in veterinary medicine which are powered by .22 short blanks (or something very similar).

Read starting at the end of page 51. Not only will it tell you how to do it, but you can be assured it is humane.
https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Documents/euthanasia.pdf

"Based upon available information, if a .22 LR is to be used the following conditions apply: (1) the firearm of choice is a rifle, (2) a solid-point bullet should be used, (3) it must be fired within close range of the skull (within 1 to 3 feet), and (4) the bullet must be directed so that proper anatomic placement on the skull is assured."

toiville2feathers
March 15, 2013, 08:27 PM
None really, just what I use with FMJ. The others work well to. I would stay away from hollow pts in the 9 m/m

Ms_Dragon
March 15, 2013, 08:30 PM
We had a small yard that had a concrete floor attached to the main yards that had a block and tackle attachment over it.

We put the slaughter beast in this yard over night to settle down and in the morning threw in a handful of hay and while it was calmly eating reached through the yard rails with the .243 and put a bullet in the center of it's forehead just above the eyes.

All calmly done, with no yelling or stress to any of the parties involved.

matrem
March 15, 2013, 08:34 PM
Leave it to a professional. Take it to a slaughterhouse.

As for the making it dead, not at all needed.
As for the dealing with a half ton of dead beef, not a bad idea..

Buck Kramer
March 15, 2013, 08:46 PM
Worked steer farm for 5+ years, I have put down a lot of steers this way. (both to put them out of their misery and others for eating) I used a .410, big enough to do the job not big enough to scare the other steers. Make an imaginary triangle between the eyes and the point of the forehead, they are dead before they hit the ground. As stated above you want the animal calm when its done otherwise the meat will be tough (unless its just hamburger). A distance of 5-10' is fine. I would not recommend a .22, I have heard 1st hand accounts of it glancing off, but if you are doing the "1 behind the ear maneuver" go for it. Quarter it and keep it cold...and I'm assuming you know the rest...

Just reread the OP, NO SHOTSHELLS!

abijohn
March 15, 2013, 08:47 PM
Do it exactly as posted by toivillesfeathers outlines. Believe me the meat is almost inedible if the beast is all worked up. Our mobile butcher guy uses a .22 magnum lever action, usually at the feeder. An older hog has a really hard head, be very precise with your shot placement if you dispatch one of the older sows some day down the road.

VTmtn.man
March 15, 2013, 08:51 PM
(With all due respect) 'Matrem', I'm not a NY city dweller living in a studio apt. with a tiny frig. I'm on 150 acres and have exactly x 3 empty freezer chests and 8 more uprights. I've managed to dress out a variety of game animals over the years. My post was not about 'should I', 'could I'... It was about getting the job done! The advice has been helpful, by & large... Thanks for the cautionarry advice, I'm sure it is sincere!

jamesbeat
March 15, 2013, 09:03 PM
I just bought my first .22 rifle, and I did a search for what the .22lr round is capable of, ballistics etc.
I came across a surprising number of forum posts by people who recommended the .22lr for cattle slaughter.
They pointed out that captive bolt guns used in slaughterhouses often use .22 blanks to power the bolt.
I also read the advice to make a line (imaginary or chalk) from the right eye to left ear and vice versa, and use a .22 at the point where the lines cross.
There were a lot of naysayers who recommended more powerful calibers, but it does seem that the .22 does the trick.
Personally, I would use a more powerful round, but only because I have no experience and a more powerful round would give me less chance of messing it up if I didn't do it perfectly.

Either way, it seems that close up with a handgun is the way to go.

josiewales
March 15, 2013, 09:10 PM
.22 between the eyes. I've done it and it works.

jim243
March 15, 2013, 09:27 PM
what would be the least stressful for both parties involved?

Going out to eat! (LOL) Sorry, I just couldn't help it. (LOL)

A 22 Mag at the base of the skull. What the slaughter houses use (a kill stick) or if you are near the ocean go to a dive shop and get a bang stick that is used on sharks (I believe it uses a 410 cartrage), that will work. Or you could just go to the dresser and take out the old 1911 and put one to the base of the animals shull. Just make sure the animal is near a block and tackle or start weight lifting if you are going to carry the animal to the barn. (LOL)

Good luck and good eating.
Jim (Save me a flank steak)

ThorinNNY
March 15, 2013, 09:38 PM
Jim
If I recall correctly, back in the day, bangsticks used 12 ga shotgunshells .

Prophet
March 15, 2013, 09:50 PM
Feed it in the feed bunk. You want the cow calm and content when you kill it. Take a 38 special, draw imaginary lines from the eye on one side to between the ear and horn on the other side. X marks the spot and pull the trigger. Don't chase the animal before you shoot it or get it worked up, you will end up with tough meat because its full of adrenalin. Cut the throat immediately so it bleeds out

based on my limited experience with butchering, I'm gonna recommend against using sub-sonic .22, though I suspect a .22 magnum might work better. Maybe it's different with steer, but I've seen too many hogs flail around after getting shot in the brain with a .22 rifle loaded with cheap target cartridges because the old timers I butchered with didn't want to damage the head meat. It's no safe or easy task trying to bleed the poor animal out while it's flailing its hundreds of pounds of girth around either, nice way to get yourself stuck with the sticking knife. Good luck, be careful and enjoy the beef!

matrem
March 15, 2013, 10:10 PM
(With all due respect) 'Matrem', I'm not a NY city dweller living in a studio apt. with a tiny frig.

Certainly happy to hear that. ;)


Thanks for the cautionarry advice, I'm sure it is sincere!

My experience here is that most of the folks are sincere :)

jfrey
March 15, 2013, 10:19 PM
My favorite load for cattle is a .45 ACP loaded with Speer gold dots. Usually use a Glock 36 to do the job and it works. Works on hogs and horses too. Correct shot placement is the biggest concern. You don't want to mess it up and I have seem poor placement with a .22 become hard to recover. While a .22 will work, I don't like taking chances. It is worth the added expense of ammo to be sure the first time. A 30-30 is my second choice.

VTmtn.man
March 15, 2013, 10:33 PM
'matrem', Thank you so much for your edifying responses, your contribution to this post has been invaluable! Keep up the good posts!

Have a great evening!

Liberty1776
March 15, 2013, 10:36 PM
ok, when I worked in the slaughterhouse, when we had a big steer the killer (there's a job title, eh?) wouldn't use the bolt hammer. He kept an old Win. 62 on his station, and would drop them with a round to the forehead, right between the eyes. Don't know if it killed them or just stunned them, as we had them up and bled out in a couple minutes after that.

His method worked great, except for this one time....BIG 'ol steer, took 6 rounds to the forehead and then went down. That's when he stopped using .22 shorts and upgraded to .22 LR

matrem
March 15, 2013, 10:52 PM
'matrem', Thank you so much for your edifying responses, your contribution to this post has been invaluable! Keep up the good posts!

Have a great evening!

You're certainly welcome.;) I'll be looking for you and you can count on more of the same. :)

Mobuck
March 15, 2013, 10:57 PM
I've butchered quite a few cattle and used a 22 rifle with adequate results. The local butcher shop uses a 22 mag with fmj bullets. I have seen 22 pistols fail to properly stun animals requiring a 2nd or 3rd shot before they dropped. We never used a centerfire of any sort.

d2wing
March 15, 2013, 11:15 PM
.22 mag revolver here. Dad used a sledge hammer or .22 lr.
Once had a wounded Holstein bull on a rampage.

VTmtn.man
March 15, 2013, 11:37 PM
Does any body know about salvaging the hide? It's a beautiful tawny color that looks great on its current owner...

VTmtn.man
March 16, 2013, 12:03 AM
Wow, 'Matrem' I feel as though we have a connection! I suppose that I should extend my gratitude, afterall, you are going to be actively"looking for me" when I'm logged on. Much appreciation for your concerted interest in my affairs!

Your quote... ("I'll be looking for you and you can count on more of the same")... my quote, ("you are creepy, & you should re evaluate your posts")
'

hso
March 16, 2013, 12:14 AM
Captive bolt is preferable at contact.

Only rank amateurs or morons try to shoot a farm animal at distance.

VTmtn.man
March 16, 2013, 12:24 AM
Thanks HSO,

Good advice, but could you explain the logic behind a close shot vs. a 50 yd. shot w/ 30/06?

Kiln
March 16, 2013, 03:43 AM
Me and my brother shot a cow's skull from the front with .22lr about 50 times and a large portion of the rounds hit the skull and bounced over.

A cow's skull is ridiculously thick in some parts. I'm sure that .22lr would work fine if you hit it in the right spot but honestly if it was me I wouldn't do it with anything less than .32acp, that seemed to go through every time in about 35 rounds.

Flopsweat
March 16, 2013, 05:46 AM
A buddy of mine was in the Peace Corps in his youth and spent some time in some African country or other, building wells and irrigation. One village they were helping was going to cook a pig. Somehow he got elected to help the pig on its journey to the afterlife. He smacked it over the head, stunning it, and was over it with a knife, just about to bleed it out when it decided that dinner was not going to fit its schedule after all, and made a break for it. This ruined the cut my friend was trying to make. It was bleeding a little, but not nearly enough. All it really did was make it harder to hang onto. He didn't want to let go of it because they had no corral. They were only a few feet from a pond, so he dragged it in to try to drown it. The pig was having none of this, and kept thrashing around and squealing like - well you know. The pond was very shallow for the first few yards, which made it just about impossible to keep the pig's head under water. The villagers weren't much help either - they just stood there staring in awe like "look at that crazy white boy". Eventually, the pig worked its way back to dry land, and my friend was barely hanging onto a leg when one of his fellow Peace Corps volunteers ran up and capped the thing in the head, finally bringing the impromptu wrestling exhibition to a close.

"Why the heck didn't you tell me you had a gun?"
"I didn't tell anybody I had a gun."

How does this help you with your question? Do not wrestle the cow. Just shoot it.

Readyrod
March 16, 2013, 06:29 AM
On the farm I worked on we used a .22 lr to the forehead and it worked fine.

start weight lifting if you are going to carry the animal to the barn. (LOL)

We used a tractor.

Blakenzy
March 16, 2013, 07:26 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCYs1CSsbqs&list=UUlGkC8Z5GKbh-_r2zQTcwuA&index=1

FastForward to aprox 4:35 and you will see where the pros strike cattle with their captive bolt guns. Insta-kill.

FWIW cattle rustlers/poachers in my neck of the woods have been using .22LR long guns to kill bovine cattle and steal the meat for ages.

VTmtn.man
March 16, 2013, 08:09 AM
Great story 'flopsweat'! So at this point, I've ruled out trying to wring the cows neck or wrestle it. There have been lots of posts on close up above/between the eyes 'X' mark, shot placement BUT, no comments on 50 yds back w/ a .308 or equivalent. HSO (the moderator) did make a statement to the negative on this method but has not yet qualifed the veracity of his statement.

Blakenzy
March 16, 2013, 08:50 AM
Is this what you are asking about?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAz76j3Ir5k

VTmtn.man
March 16, 2013, 09:32 AM
Yes, 'Blakenzy' I am asking about humanely dispatching this cow from a way out. I guess that the 'old timers' might not have had a scope on their rifle etc.
I'ts just as easy for me to set back 100 yds. and tag a dime size spot as it would be to get up close, point & shoot. Thanks for the link.

wild willy
March 16, 2013, 09:40 AM
A .22 will work fine.Don't shoot it between the eyes that too low it might work with a bigger gun it won't work with a .22 Make the x ears to eyes.Make sure the barrel is at right angle to the head.Get close the muzzle is inches from their head not yards.Stick it quickly you will have a little time before it starts kicking.Some kick a lot some very little.Stay back and be careful.Another thing its not hunting its not sport.The reason you want to be close is in case something does go wrong and so you can stick it quickly

Al Thompson
March 16, 2013, 10:16 AM
VTmtn.man, one of the issues hso alluded to is the problem with the critter moving it's head and ruining the shot. Up close and personal greatly reduces the margin of error.

I lived on a pig farm for several years and all the slaughter was done with a .32 ACP single shot device, very much like a Pen Flare launcher.

toiville2feathers perfectly described the best targeting (IMHO) method to get the bullet into the brain on a critter.

Liberty1776
March 16, 2013, 11:30 AM
There have been lots of posts on close up above/between the eyes 'X' mark, shot placement BUT, no comments on 50 yds back w/ a .308 or equivalent. HSO (the moderator) did make a statement to the negative on this method but has not yet qualifed the veracity of his statement.

hey - we tried... It's all good. You want to hang way back and use your scoped centerfire rifle, you go right ahead.

Certaindeaf
March 16, 2013, 11:47 AM
It's a cow, no need to make pretend it's an elk or something.

JohnM
March 16, 2013, 11:59 AM
correct

xfyrfiter
March 16, 2013, 12:15 PM
The slaughter house I worked at in my youth, used an air powered bolt gun, X marks the spot style, on the farms where I have helped at they all used .22 wrf or larger to dispatch either cow or pig. As far as HSO's comment, if you are too far away there is more room for error, and you need to be pretty close to use the bleeding knife before they start to thrash around. Yes the 06 will do the job but it tends to make more of a mess. just my .02 worth.

gego
March 16, 2013, 12:40 PM
You don't want to kill it with the bullet; you just want to knock it out so you can immediately slit its throat and have its heart pump out as much blood as possible before it stops.

I had a neighbor who did "on the farm butchering" as a sideline and he used a 22lr or 22 mag from about 10 to 15 feet, head on for cattle and hogs. Occasionally on a large bull or a buffalo he used something a little bigger.

When I was a kid I took a tour of a slaughterhouse on a school field trip and they just used a sledgehammer to knock out the cattle as they came through a blind chute. They then hung the unconscious animal from its real legs and slit its throat to bleed out.

hossdaniels
March 16, 2013, 12:48 PM
True. You don't want the bullet to kill it, you want it stun it long enough to cut its throat. You want it to bleed to death.
22lr is plenty. 30-06 will kill it dead before it can bleed out.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk 2

rondog
March 16, 2013, 12:54 PM
When I worked in a small slaughterhouse we just used a .22 rifle. Make the "X" between the ears and eyes and pop 'em right in the center of the forehead. Kills 'em dead. Anything larger, and you're endangering YOURSELF from ricochets and shrapnel. Plus the loudness. Don't need anything but a .22 rifle. Pistol may not achieve enough velocity.

rondog
March 16, 2013, 12:58 PM
Me and my brother shot a cow's skull from the front with .22lr about 50 times and a large portion of the rounds hit the skull and bounced over.

A cow's skull is ridiculously thick in some parts. I'm sure that .22lr would work fine if you hit it in the right spot but honestly if it was me I wouldn't do it with anything less than .32acp, that seemed to go through every time in about 35 rounds.

Dead bone is much different than living bone.

Kiln
March 16, 2013, 02:50 PM
It was very recently deceased. I don't know how it died, I just know that the dog dragged in an intact cow skull up from somewhere out at my grandfather's house.

All I had at the time was a .22lr pistol and a .32acp pistol and I decided to do some testing against the cow's skull. The .22lr was very ineffective at punching through. I will admit though that there is a beefalo farm pretty close by and the skull was huge so it may have been a skull from one of them. They're pretty large and bulky cows so the bone might (most likely) be much thicker.

I still say use a .32acp minimum because I've seen dogs shot point blank in the head with the .22lr and while all but one of them died in a single shot, it was horrible being there for the one that didn't penetrate the dog's skull and had to be shot again.

Joshua M.
March 16, 2013, 03:17 PM
Maybe a little off topic, but I do know that when we were slaughtering hogs, we forgot a .22, and all I had without going to the house was my .38, with aluminum defense rounds...not a good idear from my experience...5 shots right where they needed to be, and 1 really irritated hog, went to the house, and got the .22, dropped it with one shot, in the same place...and that was some nasty tough pig...

Certaindeaf
March 16, 2013, 03:44 PM
You probably didn't hit it right.. meaning you missed the peabrain.

glider1
March 16, 2013, 04:13 PM
22 rifle to the forehead, it'll drop right there. Might want to lead it to where you want to butcher it first.

krameranzac
March 16, 2013, 04:34 PM
Beware of bystanders when you do it. A guy here in New Zealand ended up in jail after he shot a beast with a .303 and the projectile exited the beasts skull at a very different angle to the entry and killed a guy who was watching proceedings.

45bthompson
March 16, 2013, 04:52 PM
My grandfather owned a locker in a small iowa town for ages. He used a .22lr revolver behind the ear. He said anything other than .22 was a waste of money. I never heard any stories of it not working.

45bthompson
March 16, 2013, 04:53 PM
Don't shoot it in forehead. That is the thickest part of the skull.

hso
March 16, 2013, 05:15 PM
could you explain the logic behind a close shot vs. a 50 yd. shot w/ 30/06?

A small caliber contact shot ensures proper placement and optimum outcome while any shot attempted at a distance risks wounding of the animal and undue suffering and risk. This is a domesticated farm animal and should be able to be herded into a safe place and dispatched humanely.

Elkins45
March 16, 2013, 08:35 PM
When we slaughtered cattle we would lead them out to under the hoist and throw down a handful of feed. When the cow bent down to eat it, a 22 LR solid (from a single shot rifle) was fired into the top of its skull. This was immediately followed by a solid THUD as 800-1200 pounds of formerly animated bovine hit the ground as though God himself had snatched the life out of it.

Perhaps seeing this scene several times is why I have always had a lot of respect for the 22LR round?

primalmu
March 16, 2013, 08:39 PM
Don't shoot it in forehead. That is the thickest part of the skull.

The forehead is EXACTLY where you want to shoot it. It is not the thickest part of the skull (trust me, I know, not only am I a soon-to-be veterinarian, but I've sawed plenty of cattle skulls in half). The thickest part of the skull is the occipital bone (rear of the skull).

Stop arguing. Draw diagonal lines between the horns and the eyes and shoot where they meet. That's what beef producers do, that's what veterinarians do, and that's what farmers have done for ages. Its tried and true, and there is absolutely NO reason to use any other method.

And BTW, shooting and destroying the brain is NOT "stunning." Its called stunning because when they first starting doing it they had little to no knowledge of neurology and assumed that because the cow still moved and vocalized that it was still alive and just stunned. Destruction of the brain means the cow cannot experience pain. Any movement is strictly spinal reflexes and has nothing to do with the brain. The heart still pumps, but the heart is able to pump without instruction from the brain. It can even pump when removed from the body. Brain death is still death.

Garak
March 16, 2013, 08:53 PM
I'd go for a captive bolt gun, preferably Blitz-Kerner with the red rounds. No risk of collateral damage, and has also better ergonomics than a firearm for slaughtering purposes.

Fred Fuller
March 16, 2013, 08:58 PM
The X method always worked for me. It was one of my occasional jobs on the farm to dispatch injured cows that couldn't be treated effectively (broken legs). I used a .38 Spl with 158 grain semiwadcutter reloads (at about 800 fps) and never had any trouble at all. Usually that placement resulted in getting the bullet into or near the foramen magnum at the base of the skull...

qwert65
March 16, 2013, 09:36 PM
My future colleague in post 59 is correct.
I like a .22 single shot rifle as you know it's immediately safe and you can get on with the butchering. The x method is the most correct, humane way.

AlexanderA
March 16, 2013, 10:07 PM
This thread makes me want to become a vegetarian. I'll bet a lot of people who eat meat wouldn't do so if they had to do the slaughtering themselves. As a society, we've "sanitized" this process -- someone else does the dirty work for us. I once witnessed a lamb being slaughtered (by having its throat cut) for a family Easter meal. I would never do this again.

Oddly enough, I would have a lot fewer qualms shooting a person than shooting an animal. The person would deserve it -- the animal doesn't. The only time I would shoot an animal is if it endangered my life directly.

Iggy
March 16, 2013, 10:14 PM
Feed it in the feed bunk. You want the cow calm and content when you kill it. Take a 38 special, draw imaginary lines from the eye on one side to between the ear and horn on the other side. X marks the spot and pull the trigger. Don't chase the animal before you shoot it or get it worked up, you will end up with tough meat because its full of adrenalin. Cut the throat immediately so it bleeds out

What he said. I've done it with a ball peen hammer when I din't have anything else handy.

TCB in TN
March 16, 2013, 10:17 PM
This thread makes me want to become a vegetarian. I'll bet a lot of people who eat meat wouldn't do so if they had to do the slaughtering themselves. As a society, we've "sanitized" this process -- someone else does the dirty work for us. I once witnessed a lamb being slaughtered (by having its throat cut) for a family Easter meal. I would never do this again.

Oddly enough, I would have a lot fewer qualms shooting a person than shooting an animal. The person would deserve it -- the animal doesn't. The only time I would shoot an animal is if it endangered my life directly.

This says less about the reality of killing and eating meat, and more about our society IMHO! :uhoh:

Hunter125
March 16, 2013, 11:58 PM
This says less about the reality of killing and eating meat, and more about our society IMHO! :uhoh:

No joke. What it really says is he places at least equal, if not more, value on an animal's life than on a human's. Sad statement about our society.

kyhunter
March 17, 2013, 04:11 AM
As many have said a high-speed .22 solid (the longer barrel cant hurt) has been doing it for years. Anything else is just overkill honestly. Ive seen many a .38 snubby and centerfire rifles used from ranges 5 to 100 yards. dead is dead plain and simple. The .22 is most widely used due to affordability and it just plain works. Shot placement. Shot placement. Shot placement.

limpingbear
March 17, 2013, 04:32 AM
If you get real close to the cow, and look at its forehead, look at the way the hair/fur makes a little swirl right in the middle. Put a .22 solid out of a rifle right there and its a dead critter. Helped out on a couple "on the ranch" butcher jobs, and everytime a cow was shot like that, they sucked thier legs up to thier boddies so quick you say sky beneath the cow. They were dead before they hit the ground. Make sure it is a contact shot and you wont have to worry about using anything bigger.

rust collector
March 17, 2013, 09:08 AM
AlexanderA, death is a part of life. Every living thing must die, whether it deserves it or not. The best we can hope for is a quick and painless departure, and that is the topic of this thread. We respect animals, but we do not adore them.

Before anyone can enjoy a hamburger, taco or pepperoni pizza, this must happen (shows the process, no need to hit the link if you don't wish to learn) http://vimeo.com/22077752

In our society, folks have lost touch with where our food comes from, and what happens between nurture and ingestion. Farming and ranching involve a lot of hard work, but they are a necessary part of life.

If people want to live a vegan lifestyle, they are welcome to that choice. The animal industry gives us gelatin, leather, even fabric softeners and plant supplements, and ignoring it doesn't mean it's not a part of the fabric of our culture.

VTmtn.man
March 17, 2013, 09:57 AM
Very well stated! 'Rust collector'! I'll be checking your link out next. It seems as though the most humane way is with a .22 LR, rifle, at close range. I was wishing that I could set back like I would w/ a deer but as HSO and others have pointed out domesticated / wild animals are best dispatched according to their kind.

wild willy
March 17, 2013, 10:04 AM
Can you do it.I'am not being nasty its not like hunting. I know people who have butchered a steer and a couple hogs for every year for 50 years but won't shoot them and they hunt and shoot deer and other game with no problem.The people on here who have done it know what I'am talking about.You don't do it because it fun you do it because it something that has to be done.

BMoore
March 17, 2013, 10:36 AM
I've butchered many animals on the farm. I've used various weapons over the years, .22 rifles, .45ACP pistols, etc. For absolute best results I use my 22-250 single shot varmint rifle right in the middle of the X made between the ears and eyes as described here by several other commenters. Even though it's a scoped rifle I shoot them off hand from a foot away while they are standing quietly awaiting their morning feed.
I like this way best because the steer immediately folds. No thrashing, no struggling. He's dead, period. That is the safest for the people and the most humane for the beast. He will bleed out just fine this way. We immediately hoist him up with the tractor loader and slit the throat. Plenty of bleed out. No drama at all.
I firmly believe that we have an obligation to the animal to treat it as humanely as possible throughout its life,up to and including its eventual demise. People have lost their connection to the reality of feeding themselves. Pretty sad really.

Readyrod
March 17, 2013, 10:38 AM
A .22 will work fine.Don't shoot it between the eyes that too low it might work with a bigger gun it won't work with a .22 Make the x ears to eyes.Make sure the barrel is at right angle to the head.Get close the muzzle is inches from their head not yards.Stick it quickly you will have a little time before it starts kicking.Some kick a lot some very little.Stay back and be careful.Another thing its not hunting its not sport.The reason you want to be close is in case something does go wrong and so you can stick it quickly

What he said.

VTmtn.man, one of the issues hso alluded to is the problem with the critter moving it's head and ruining the shot. Up close and personal greatly reduces the margin of error.

Exactly.

This is a domesticated farm animal and should be able to be herded into a safe place and dispatched humanely.

Exactly again.

Stop arguing. Draw diagonal lines between the horns and the eyes and shoot where they meet. That's what beef producers do, that's what veterinarians do, and that's what farmers have done for ages. Its tried and true, and there is absolutely NO reason to use any other method.

Yup.

X marks the spot

That is so true on so many levels, and I'm not being sarcastic here.

If you get real close to the cow, and look at its forehead, look at the way the hair/fur makes a little swirl right in the middle. Put a .22 solid out of a rifle right there and its a dead critter.

Whoa, just learned something new there. Awesome! And it makes perfect sense.

nelsonal
March 17, 2013, 10:47 AM
We used a .357 mag in a 4" revolver as described (the cross of the imaginary X) many years ago. Cow was dead upon hitting the ground. That was the choice because it was available. I would expect most calibers would be more than adequate with a good bullet today.

We found it to be too much work to be worth the savings of a butcher after that first one, though still do our own game animals, so more power to you! There's little better eating than one's own cow; I still love going home for the beef. I think every meat eater should kill and butcher an animal at least once.

J-Bar
March 17, 2013, 11:03 AM
If you are not experienced in slaughtering and processing beef, please make sure you cook it well before serving it. The professional processors occasionally make mistakes, and folks get sick as a result. Inexperienced processors are more likely to contaminate the meat with poor technique. Use a thermometer and get the internal temperature to 145 degrees F.

slumlord44
March 17, 2013, 02:52 PM
I never heard of so many different ways to do something so simple. I am 68 and still living on the family farm I was raised on. All we ever used to butcher hogs and cows was a Remington 512 and .22 shorts. Close as you could get. Aimed between the eyes and 1" up. Seemed to get the job done fine unless the animal moved or you were a realy bad shot.

hrvatska1
March 17, 2013, 04:46 PM
.22 short in the top of the brainplate.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2

mr.trooper
March 17, 2013, 05:23 PM
This is not complicated. Virtually any firearm will work.

Just walk up to the darn thing with a feed pale and dump some feed on the ground. One the animal is distracted, step back a few feet and put virtually any bullet from virtually any kind of firearm behind its ear.

If the animal is particularly tame or acclimated to you, you wont even need the feed.

leadchucker
March 17, 2013, 06:38 PM
My granddaddy dispatched hogs with a big hammer. He would lure the hog to the slaughter area with some feed, walk calmly up to it and let him have it. He said it didn't immediately kill the animal, it just stunned it. Once the deed was done, he would quickly hang the animal up by its hind legs, cut its throat and let it bleed out. He said the animal would bleed out more thoroughly that way. Made for better meat.

Probably not a good idea to try this on a cow tho unless you have a really big hammer. :D

Zeke/PA
March 17, 2013, 06:52 PM
ok, when I worked in the slaughterhouse, when we had a big steer the killer (there's a job title, eh?) wouldn't use the bolt hammer. He kept an old Win. 62 on his station, and would drop them with a round to the forehead, right between the eyes. Don't know if it killed them or just stunned them, as we had them up and bled out in a couple minutes after that.

His method worked great, except for this one time....BIG 'ol steer, took 6 rounds to the forehead and then went down. That's when he stopped using .22 shorts and upgraded to .22 LR
VERY similar to what a friends of Dad's did.
Every once in awhile, the rifle was reloaded but NEVER wiped off or cleaned in ANY way.
Sadly, the "butcher" was struck one day by a "cow" that still had some reflex action.
Dad's Buddy was left blind in one eye with several other ailments due to the "hoof kick" that was not anticipated.

scaatylobo
March 17, 2013, 07:45 PM
You have the correct way already.

Just remember that you will not move it afterwards unless you have a tow truck or comealong and overhead beam strong enough.

Position it correctly and measure the shot as directed.

I have done a few [ horses,cows,pigs ] and a Veterinarian friend gave me the location,works very well.

I chose a 6 1/2" S&W .44 magnum,once I did use a snub .357 on a donkey.

All the same results,expect blood and I do contact shots - so wear a face shield as the bone fragments are painful.

leprechaun50
March 17, 2013, 08:48 PM
By now it has died of old age.

Al Thompson
March 17, 2013, 09:10 PM
I think every meat eater should kill and butcher an animal at least once.

Buddy of mine, several years back, asked me to show his kids what butchering a deer looked like. Next deer I killed, drove over to his place with the non-dressed deer and me and the kids disassembled it.

Obviously, I agree with the quoted post.

biohazurd
March 18, 2013, 12:55 AM
Where i was raised farmer/ranchers used a good variety of weapons some use Shotties some rifles and some handguns. The farms i worked on, was raised on it was common to use a .357 or .44 cal Close range to the head. Though lower caliber hanguns would probably suffice i have a serious obligation to humanely put down these animals so i have never used anything less then a 4" barrel .38 special to dispatch a large cow. Now some bulls were extremely aggresive and in that case high powered rifle to the from a safe distance.

Bassleg
March 18, 2013, 01:17 AM
I use a Marlin 94 357mag make an x from the ear to the eye, then bleed it out.

skimbell
March 18, 2013, 01:08 PM
A former student of mine came back to school a couple of years after he'd graduated. I of course asked him what he'd been doing and he started to tell me a story that actually made me laugh at him.
He'd gone to work at his uncle's butcher shop in a small rural town in a state to the south of Illinois. I asked him how he liked the work and he said it was OK but he "kinda got sick of the killing". I asked what the problem was since you could sort of figure on working with dead animals in a butcher shop, and sometimes you might have to make 'em that way. He recounted how he'd been trained, using a .22 to kill both pigs and cattle. "one for pigs, two for cows" had essentially been his training. Apparently he was a bit slow on the second shot for a cow that he was trying to dispatch and as a result the cow, after the first shot came after him, chased him through the stock doors and down the street. He escaped by ducking into a gas station and the cow kept going. His uncle and several of the locals spent the better part of that afternoon looking for the run away cow. They found it and the story ended well for the butcher as well as the customer.
My former student however was contemplating a career change.

Kiln
March 18, 2013, 06:30 PM
Buddy of mine, several years back, asked me to show his kids what butchering a deer looked like. Next deer I killed, drove over to his place with the non-dressed deer and me and the kids disassembled it.

Obviously, I agree with the quoted post.
I don't enjoy the process but it doesn't bother me a whole lot either. Every meat product you eat has to be killed and cut by somebody.

Certaindeaf
March 18, 2013, 10:56 PM
A former student of mine came back to school a couple of years after he'd graduated. I of course asked him what he'd been doing and he started to tell me a story that actually made me laugh at him.
He'd gone to work at his uncle's butcher shop in a small rural town in a state to the south of Illinois. I asked him how he liked the work and he said it was OK but he "kinda got sick of the killing". I asked what the problem was since you could sort of figure on working with dead animals in a butcher shop, and sometimes you might have to make 'em that way. He recounted how he'd been trained, using a .22 to kill both pigs and cattle. "one for pigs, two for cows" had essentially been his training. Apparently he was a bit slow on the second shot for a cow that he was trying to dispatch and as a result the cow, after the first shot came after him, chased him through the stock doors and down the street. He escaped by ducking into a gas station and the cow kept going. His uncle and several of the locals spent the better part of that afternoon looking for the run away cow. They found it and the story ended well for the butcher as well as the customer.
My former student however was contemplating a career change.
I wonder if they had the poor fellow using shorts just for a joke. never know. He should know, at least in the future.

Hunter125
March 18, 2013, 11:22 PM
My dad still has an 12" x 1" piece of solid steel he used to use to put down sick cattle on the farm he worked on growing up. I think it was a piece of some kind of drive shaft. He put a leather strap on it and kept it in his truck for a while for defensive use before he got his CCW permit.

VTmtn.man
April 1, 2013, 09:58 PM
Thanks all, I'm glad I got advice and planed this well. The process was done in about an hour and went very well. .410 slug above/between the eyes, throat cut all within 5-10 sec. Sharp knife, x2 pieces of twine and a sawsall made for a vey uneventful processing. I guess the next time it won't seem like that big of a deal. I am saving the hide & have it spread out in an out building on rough plank floor boards and liberally covered with Morton's table salt 15 lbs worth. I plan on scraping then salting again. Any FYI advice on details would be great! We could open this up in a non guns related post...

Interestingly, my GSD isn't at all interested in the fresh beef, liver etc. she's only had stuff that has cured is this unusual? and do you think that once it has hanged for a wk or so she will be more interested in it?

Flopsweat
April 2, 2013, 03:33 AM
Gun related cow video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwBFkT_KZr8

Garmangabis
April 2, 2013, 10:59 AM
You are overthinking it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNOQQpzGgv0

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