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What to Expect When Processing Meat

If you are new to taking your own animals to be processed, you may be surprised what you get after processing is done.

Changes occur when converting the live animal to a carcass. Even more changes occur to convert the carcass to a package of meat.

The dressing percentage, or yield, varies between animal species. Pork has the highest average dressing percentage of 70-75%. Beef averages 60-64% and lamb averages 54-59%. Loss factors include the animal blood, hide, internal organs, food in the animal stomach, and other factors.

To help guide you on what to expect before you take your animal to be processed, see these K-State Research and Extension publications:


About Karen Blakeslee

The Rapid Response Center was formed in 1995 as a resource for Kansas State University Research & Extension Agents. Resource topics included Food Science, Human Nutrition, Food Service, Textiles, Home Care and other consumer topics. Since that time, the Center has grown to be of valuable assistance to Kansas State University Extension Specialists in those areas.

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