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Guide to Tocal

Slaughter house

The slaughterhouse was reconstructed in 1992 using authentic building methods, including bridle joints in the posts and top plate. The heads of the bolts on the gates face out to prevent animals from bruising themselves and damaging their hides.

Animals were slaughtered in the late afternoon and left to hang and set overnight. The carcass would be divided into quarters just on daylight before the day got too hot and flies became a nuisance. It would then be carted on the dray up to the butcher’s shop where it was cut up and distributed to the owners and other families living on the property.

In the days before refrigeration, meat was consumed fresh for a day or so after the kill. After that, meat had to be preserved by immersing it in large tanks of brine or salty water.

The skin was removed and hung on the fence to dry. Sometimes the fresh hide (greenhide) was used for making whips and hinges and the tanned hides were used for saddlery.

photo of slaughterhouse