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How to Butcher Livestock in Dwarf Fortress

How to Butcher Livestock in Dwarf Fortress

So you’ve made Pastures and are raising lots of Livestock in Dwarf Fortress. But you’re wondering what to do with all of them? Well, don’t worry, because in this guide we’ll be showing you precisely how you can butcher animals. So you can keep up the food production for your Dwarf Fortress.

To Butcher livestock, simply create a Butcher’s shop. Then within your Labour Menu select an animal available to be butchered and Click the Butcher Knife Icon. In the case of non-livestock animals, your hunter dwarf will automatically bring any kills to the Butcher’s shop.

Dwarf Fortress makes it easy to begin Butchering your Livestock, but we understand that the gameplay doesn’t tell you all the variety of ways you can develop your food production. If you’re hoping to know all the different ways you can Butcher your Livestock then keep reading on!

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How to Butcher Livestock in Dwarf Fortress?

In-game Screenshot
In-game Screenshot

The process of Butchering in Dwarf Fortress as we mentioned earlier is fairly simple. All you have to do initially is set up a Butcher’s Shop. This is the first, and probably most important step that you have to complete because without a Butcher’s Shop you will not be able to Butcher Livestock, as there would be no means to process the Livestock.

If you’re looking to build the Butcher Shop, you can find it under the Build Menu in Workshops > Farming > Butcher. There are a few materials you will have to collect before you can begin the process of actually building the shop. But if you’ve been keeping up with your material hunting then you should have enough resources at this point.

Designate Livestock to Be Butchered

Butcher Shop - Dwarf Fortress
Butcher Shop – Dwarf Fortress

Now that you have your Butcher Shop set up, you can begin the process of actually going ahead and Butchering the animals you currently have. This is more straightforward than you might have initially assumed. If only because there is no need to specifically designate dwarves as Hunters.

Instead, all you have to do is Open your Labor Menu (achieved by pressing the “Y” button on your keyboard), and Click over the Creatures Tab. You simply then move on to selecting the Pets/ Livestock Tab that is found within the Creatures Tab.

You should now be displayed all animals available for butchering. Within this section of the menu you can mark the specific animals you desire to slaughter. This can be achieved by clicking the small Butcher Knife Icon. This will be located to the far right of the listings.

Now you can just sit back and watch as the animals that you’ve tamed, and marked for slaughter, will be taken to your Butcher’s Shop and will be Butchered. It’s important to Butcher your animals at an appropriate time since butchering tasks provide not just meat, but bones, organs, and other useful parts as well.

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All Materials Yielded By Butchering Animals and Usage

MeatEaten raw or cooked
Prepared organsEaten raw or cooked
FatCooked into tallow
BonesFor crafting armor, decorations, strange moods
ShellsFor crafting armor, decorations, strange moods
SkinTanned into leather
WoolSpun into yarn
HairSpun into thread
SkullsCrafting skull totems

How to Butcher Other Animals?

In-game Screenshot of Livestock
In-game Screenshot of Livestock

Now that you know how to butcher your Livestock, you might be wondering how to do the same with animals that are currently not tamed. This is a fairly simple process because it requires the use of your dwarf hunters. Assuming that you have one available at the present moment.

If you have even one Hunter Dwarf that is patrolling and hunting a particular area for prey then they will automatically bring back any of their kills to the settlement for butchering. They will bring these skills back to your Butcher Shop, so you need not worry

However, you should know that not every corpse your loving hunter dwarves bring back to you will be usable. There will be several instances where they might bring back carcasses of animals that you can’t necessarily butcher. So don’t try to put all your eggs in that one basket, and make sure you diversify your source of food production.

If you’re wondering how you can ensure that you get the most out of your Hunter Dwarves. Then simply designate a few dwarves that you have as Hunters in the Labor Menu. Found under the Work Details Tab. There are several jobs you can assign to the dwarves under your disposal, but gearing up and setting Hunters can be one of the most important.

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What to Do With Waste From Butchering?

As you continue to butcher animals in your Fortress, you will notice that you’re quickly obtaining a large stockpile of bones and refuse from the animal corpses. This is because butchering is not an instantaneous process and the animals will leave behind corpses and carcasses. This is especially true if your Butcher cannot process these fast enough.

You might end up with several rotten items, these can be very harmful, as they produce miasma. So keep your dwarves happy, and they do not like the idea of miasma or rotting corpses near their Fortress or food.

If you wish, you can limit the spread of miasma in this way by making the Butcher’s Shop an enclosed space. additionally, you will want to utilize a refuse stockpile for any piling animal corpses. Finally, having a roof over that surface and a garbage chute will ensure no one outside will get bothered by the miasma.

Butchering is an essential process in Dwarf Fortress. Utilizing it will improve your gameplay experience, and will surely help in the endeavors your Fortress embarks upon in the future. Be mindful of the things we’ve mentioned above, and you should be an expert at managing your Fortress in no time!