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Skinning Guinea Pigs

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Re: Skinning Guinea Pigs

Post Number:#16  Unread postby Zass » Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:08 pm


I use surgical scalpels with cheap disposable blades.

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Re: Skinning Guinea Pigs

Post Number:#17  Unread postby Ghost » Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:28 pm


I'm continuing to work with the pictures I took during my February guinea pig butcher. I tool over 110 pictures, so just sorting the best can be a process in itself. I have I few images that I will share in this post. First is the finished meat picture.
finished-meat.jpg
finished-meat.jpg (54.63 KiB) Viewed 447 times


I also have a new view of making the post-anal cut.
post-anal-cut.jpg
post-anal-cut.jpg (64.64 KiB) Viewed 447 times


I will be adding some text to describe how you can pull the skin around and making the post anal-cut visible while you are working with the carcass belly-side up. This makes it easier to join the belly-side cut to the post-anal cut resulting in a one small patch of fur around the anal-genital reign and a larger piece covering the rest of the carcass.
pull-cut.jpg
pull-cut.jpg (79.16 KiB) Viewed 447 times
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Re: Skinning Guinea Pigs

Post Number:#18  Unread postby ladysown » Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:50 pm


thank you. :)
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Re: Skinning Guinea Pigs

Post Number:#19  Unread postby sarai » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:49 pm


diddo :D

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Re: Skinning Guinea Pigs

Post Number:#20  Unread postby Ghost » Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:31 pm


__________ Mar 17, 2020 __________

I'm uploading a few more pics so that you can see how I am coming. This first pic is used to describe how the belly slit is created.
belly-cut.jpg
belly-cut.jpg (88.98 KiB) Viewed 406 times


This next pic shows how the foot is freed from the rest of the skeleton and how the hook is inserted.
insert-hook.jpg
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__________ Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:22 am __________

Late March Update

I am continuing to work on my write up my how-to guide for butchering skin-off cuy. I have made a few changes in the instructions. Mostly I switched out the seam ripper and am now using a pointy knife (exacto #11) to do the cuts. In addition I have adapted the text to match the new images I have from the February butcher,

As always, I would like your input and CONSTRICTIVE criticism. In the block quote below, I will post a portion (not the whole thing) of the how-to from my harddrive. I would like your input on how I can improve this writing. I am chiefly interest in errors in grammar and spelling errors (wrong words) that made it past my cheap spell checker. I am also interest in what you think of my presentation and instructive flow. The chief question in my mind is, "Do you think this is a set of instructions you could follow?". At this point, I don't need anyone to actually follow my instructions. But, I want to know could you follow these instructions if you wanted to?

I am also taking criticisms of my diagrams and how well the written instructions and diagrams fit together. Do the images help with understanding what I am saying in the text? At this point I'm not that interested in alternative techniques. I would like to get a full set of instructions out there. Once I have a complete version of the how-to posted, I would be more interested in different ways to achieve a skinned cuy meat carcass.

** Introduction and acknowledgment **

Here is a step be step process that I have developed with help from members of Rabbit Talk to process guinea pigs to a form I call Western skin-off cuy. This form results in a meat carcass without the head feet and skin. As it turns out, guinea pigs have a hide that is more tightly bound to their bodies than the hide of rabbits. As a result, the type of skinning usually used for a rabbit (case skinning) does not work well for GPs. Because of this, I have developed a form of open skinning for guinea pigs.


** Required videos & tools **

Because dressing an animal involves many technique that are hard to describe in text and still images, I have developed this guide to work in conjugation with two videos that were produced by two independent videographers. While my overall strategy is different from the one used in the videos, the videos do show individual techniques. They also give you a good picture of what the results should look like.

The first video is a demonstration of hog butchering. The second is a rabbit butchering video. These are informative videos to watch straight through. However, I would recommend, that you watch the video in parts at least one time as you read through these instructions.

In these instructions, I will mention tools such as your curved blade, your pointy and your hooked blade and others. The list of tools is described in THIS POST.

*Before*

Before you begin the dressing process, you will need to dispatch the GP and make sure he is "good and dead". Because, with this procedure, there are a cuts and bone breaks that before head removal. For the first two steps, you will lie the carcass on a flat surface. I highly recommend you have your table set at a height that is easy to work at. Having to bend over as you work will make things much more difficult.


  • Step one: break bones and make the post anal slit.
    Diagram-01-postanal-v01.jpg
    Diagram 1
    Diagram-01-postanal-v01.jpg (210.72 KiB) Viewed 381 times

    • 1A) Break the leg (both legs) bones using the either needle-nose pliers or the flat side of a knife. Break the hind leg bone closer to the foot than the knee. The X on Diagram 1A represents the best place to break the bone.
    • 1B) Lay the carcass belly-side down on your working surface. Then use your flat blade (or the flat part of your pointy blade) to make the "initial cut". This cut should be on top of the spine near the end of the spine. If you make the cut past the end of the spine you risk cutting or nicking the large intestine. The spine prevents you from cutting too deep. To make the "initial cut" you will need to feel around spine. Place your flat blade on top of the spine near the end and "saw" through the skin. This part of the GP has little padding between the skin and bone, it is ok if the cut exposes bone.
    • 1C) Insert the tip of your pointy blade into the initial cut. The sharp edge should be towards you. you can then cut the skin by pulling away from the carcass. Cut from the initial cut to the place where the bone is broken (green line Diagram 1A). You should note that the cut starts on the spine side of the animal, but most of the cut on the leg should be in the middle of the animal between the belly-side and the spine-side. Perhaps you might think of the cut as running along the inner thigh.
    • 1D) Repeat step 1C for the other leg.

    Once Step 1 completed, you should have a single slit that runs from one leg to the other. The slit should separate the skin on the top side of the carcass from that on the belly side. The anus will be still attached to the fur on the belly side but separated from the top side fur.

  • Step 2: opening the belly side of the skin.
    Diagram-02-bellycut-v01.jpg
    Diagram 2
    Diagram-02-bellycut-v01.jpg (294.98 KiB) Viewed 381 times

    • 2A) lay the carcass belly-side up. Using the flat blade (or the flat part of the pointy blade), create a short incision (green line Diagram 2A) that is on top of the rib cage. Make the cut just long enough for you to get your finger in, do not extend the cut beyond the ribs. Do not cut too deep, the ribs should stop the knife from going too deep.
    • 2B) Jam your finger onto the slit and pull the skin away from tissue underneath (Diagram 2B). As you do this, the loosened skin will be baggy.
    • 2C) Using the hook blade continue the belly side incisions (red line Diagram 2A). You can use one hand to probe under the skin and the other hand to hold the blade. Continue the cut until you get a half an inch or so away from the anal/genital region.
    • 2D) With the carcass still on the back pull the skin on the leg so that the post anal cut is visible when looking at the belly side ( see Diagram 2C). Insert the tip of the pointy blade just under the skin at the green X. Then create a new cut that joins the post anal cut to the belly cut created in step 2C. The location of the X should be on the post anal cut that is closted to the belly cut, before the post anal cut veers towards the back side of the carcass.
    • 2E) Repeat Step 2D with the other leg.

    Once step 2 is completed, the hide is now in two pieces. A small piece of hide covers the anal/genital region. The larger piece of hide covers rest of the carcass.

  • Step 3: getting ready to hang the carcass

    This is where I suggest you watch the hog butchering video up until the point where the hog carcass is hung (2:40). Of particular interest is where he breaks the feet away from the rest of the skeleton and he separates the hide from the lower part of the leg (1:19-2:40). The cuts in my instructions are different from those in the hog butchering video. However the goal is similar to have the foot separate from the skeleton, but with the hide attached. The is because in this state, each foot can be used as a handle to pull the hide off of the rest of the carcass.
    Diagram-03-footloose-v01.jpg
    Diagram-03-footloose-v01.jpg (236.05 KiB) Viewed 381 times

    • 3A) Cut the tendons that attach the leg to the foot inside of where the bone is broken. Repeat for the other leg/foot.
    • 3B) Separate the hide from the meat around the leg and thigh, but leave the hide attached to the feet. To understand what I am talking about refer to the video and watch how this is done to separate the hide from the hog's leg & thigh. Repeat for the other leg & thigh. Once this part is done the carcass should like like Diagram 3A.
    • 3C) To hang the carcass you will be using two fish hooks to support the carcass. The hooks needs to be well connected because the hide is pulled against this anchorage. To accomplish this bend the knee and insert the hook at the green X (Diagram 3B). The pierce should be made from the inside of the thigh to the outer thigh. repeat with the other leg.

    Once step 3 is complete, your GP will have a small patch of fur around the genital anal region. The carcass will have two bare legs with fish hooks in them ready to be hung.


__________ Sat Dec 26, 2020 11:25 am __________

I know it looks likes I stopped work in the development of my guinea pig butchering, however I have continued. I've done two complete butchering since my last update in march 2020.

When I worked the guinea pig that I killed to make the march 2020 update, there was one patch of skin I had difficult with. I had easily removed the large patch of fur, but the small patch that included the anal-pouch and genitals was difficult to remove. The main issue was, I had no good way to hold on to the patch so that I could pull it away from the underlying tissues.

I experimented with a modification of my skinning technique during a complete butcher in Nov 2020. I repeated the complete butcher in Dec 2020, this time with pictures. The modification made it quite a bit easier to remove the anal-genital fur patch.

In the Dec 2020 butcher I did take some pictures, but not nearly as many as my first butcher in 2020. As a result, to make the complete instructions, I will probably need to mix pictures from two butchering sessions.

The main difference accrues early on, where I create a sort of tab on the back of the carcass. If you look at the last version of diagram 1 frame A, you can see there, I've drawn a green line indicates where the first cut is to be made. In my newer modified version, the first cut is higher on the spine farther away from the GP's bear patch. I then use my curved blade to separate the lower part of the skin away from underlying tissue. I make this tab large enough that it goes from the first cut to the bare patch.

I am still interested in posting the complete instructions. I just need some time to work on if and mix in the new pictures. I am also still looking for some proof readers to give me commentary on my work, so that I can make improvements in my instructive style.
You have to do the most good for the most. You must remember that a few won't make it. Don't be ashamed to shed a tear for the ones lost along the way, we will not hold it against you. Just remember "the herd goes on".

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Re: Skinning Guinea Pigs

Post Number:#21  Unread postby Green2Rabbits » Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:29 am


(Disregard)
Last edited by Green2Rabbits on Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Skinning Guinea Pigs

Post Number:#22  Unread postby Ghost » Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:06 pm


Green2Rabbits wrote:To tube skin it you just do the bottom half like you did. You cut around all 4 legs making a complete circle cut so the skin will slide up and down a bit freely. Then on the back legs you cut from your cut around the paw around the anus (like you did in the pic) and then up the opposite back leg to the initial cut around that paw.


TRDR: I tried it the first time I attempted to skinning a guinea pig, and it doesn't work well with guinea pigs.

I'm not trying to be a butt-head, but I've read your response three times and it seems that you missed the whole aim of the thread (or did not read this thread from the beginning).

As it turns out there are two basic ways to skin a mammal, most other methods are basically a variation of one method or the another. One way is to pull the bulk of the skin off like a sweater usually turning it inside out as you go (as demonstrated in the rabbit video). The other method is to take the skin off like a jacket, where you first unzip the jacket and then take it off from the sides (as demonstrated in the hog video).

In the first post (October 2017) of this thread, I quoted Akane heavily. She explained why the "pulling if off like a sweater" is incredibly difficult for a guinea pig. It was her who first suggested that I use open skinning (hog video).

As re-read the start of this thread, I noticed that much of my early GP skinning experience was only explained in a different thread that was referenced at the start of this one. When I first started working with guinea pigs I had not heard of open skinning, so the first time I tried, I skinned it the same way I would a rabbit. The problem is that it was extremely frustrating because the underlying tissue was more tightly bound to the skin with a guinea pig. In rabbits it is not as tightly bound. The place where the GP's spine is bound to the skin is the hardest to remove.

Akane explained this to me, and introduced me to the idea of open skinning. From there, I searched the Net and found the hog video. Then this thread was born.
You have to do the most good for the most. You must remember that a few won't make it. Don't be ashamed to shed a tear for the ones lost along the way, we will not hold it against you. Just remember "the herd goes on".

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Re: Skinning Guinea Pigs

Post Number:#23  Unread postby Green2Rabbits » Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:37 pm


Ghost wrote:I'm not trying to be a butt-head, but I've read your response three times and it seems that you missed the whole aim of the thread (or did not read this thread from the beginning)....
...

Sorry ignore my post. I skimmed it but no didn't read through it all. My fault ignore that post.

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Re: Skinning Guinea Pigs

Post Number:#24  Unread postby ladysown » Sun Dec 27, 2020 8:34 pm


should I ever get back into doing guinea pigs and using them for food I would find your tutorial very helpful.

Doing up guinea pigs is completely different than doing a rabbit and I'm so thankful you have given me terminology to use when talking to people about how to do up a guinea pig.
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