Breaking Down a Goat Carcass    

Chris Parsons and Ed Roggen
(2002/2003 Interim Marketing Coordinator, Northeast Sheep and Goat Marketing Program at Cornell University)

  1. Hindquarter or Hind-Saddle

    Split carcass should have hindquarter removed or separated from forequarter between the last two sets of ribs (generally between the 12th & 13th)

    • Leg

      Remove leg at the ball joint of the pelvic girdle leaving the entire femur bone.  Or, to include the sirloin, remove just in front of the ilium ("hooks" in live animal terminology).  Both methods should have the lower shank bones removed at the distal "break joint" of the tibia/fibula.

    • Loin Section

      This should include the area from the last rib to the pelvic girdle (ilium). The rib "tail" should be trimmed to a retail length. 

    • Flank

      Trim of excess fat and bone (last rib) and use for grinding, etc., or possibly save the flank steak muscle.

  2. Forequarter or Fore-saddle
    • Rib Rack

      This should include the sixth rib through to the twelfth rib, and the ribs should be trimmed to a retail length of approximately four inches.

    • Front Shoulder

      This should have the neck removed at the imaginary line extending forward from the top line of the animal.  The lower shank should be removed at the knee.


      This shoulder (above) could have the fore shank and brisket removed by cutting just above the elbow, in a line parallel with the top line.  This will result in a "Square" cut shoulder, a fore shank (or "trotter"), and a brisket (or breast).