Part II: Stunning, Bleeding, and Moving the Carcass into the Unit

Small Meat Processors October 13, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF

To view our meat processing video Part II: Stunning, Bleeding, and Moving the Carcass into the Unit* click here.

* (c) Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network 2009

Audio Text
This video shows the process from stunning and initial bleed-out to moving the carcasses into the unit.

Cattle can be stunned in a trailer, as is done on this farm. Or they can be in a chute. Later, the sheep and pigs will be stunned in this chute. Each containment space is appropriate for the species.

The policy of the Island Grown Farmers Cooperative is to use a captive bolt stunner whenever possible. The head meat can then be saved for consumption.

After stunning, the animals are removed from the trailer or chute for bleed-out, which takes about 5 minutes. Bleed-out can occur on the grass, on clean, dry dirt, or on a concrete pad. The animals have been insensible since stunning and any subsequent movements are only nerve reflexes.

Once bleed-out is complete, the animal is moved into the trailer with a winch and washed thoroughly with water.

The butchers will clean and prepare the two cattle carcasses, one at a time. When these are finished, they will move on to the sheep and pigs.

The next step is cleaning and preparing the carcass.


This video project was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Many thanks to Bruce Dunlop and the Island Grown Farmers Cooperative; Yer Vue, Xang Chang, and Chris Benedict at Washington State University; and Zach Mull.

This is a Niche Meat Processor Association article and was reviewed for compliance with federal, state, and local regulations by members of the NMPAN community. Consult with USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service and/or the appropriate state or local regulators before making changes in your operation. For more information, refer to NMPAN's articles on mobile slaughter units.


This is where you can find research-based information from America's land-grant universities enabled by



This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.