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The butcher's shop is a workshop used to slaughter livestock that has been designated to be butchered in the z-status Animals submenu. There is no task for this in the workshop task menu; instead it will be done automatically if it isn't disabled in the order-W menu. Unlike butchering corpses, slaughtering occurs the instant the butcher brings the animal to the shop, and so is not affected by the butcher's skill level, agility, or workshop clutter. Although slaughtering is not affected by experience, it does provide experience in the butcher skill. If you have many excess animals, you can slaughter them for gains in food, bones, skins, experience and frame rate.
Butchers also do the dirty job of processing animal corpses and body parts for meat, fat, skin, bones, and skulls at the butcher's shop. Higher skill allows them to process these corpses faster. A corpse doesn't have to be particularly close to the workshop to trigger the task, but it needs to be on a (refuse) stockpile.
A butcher's shop can also be used to catch vermin (like a kennels) and make extracts from captured vermin.
- b Butcher a dead animal
- Separates a dead animal into its component parts of meat, fat, skin, bones, and skulls. Usually used on animals that your hunters bring back.
- e Extract from a dead animal
- Requires a caged fire snake, cave spider, or purring maggot and the Trapping labor. Contrary to the name of the task, the vermin must be alive (though it will be dead once the task is done).
- Produces liquid fire, venom, or dwarven milk and purring maggot meat respectively.
- a Capture a live land animal
- Requires an animal trap and trapping.
- The trapper will take the trap and chase vermin until it catches one.
- Slaughtering produces a lot of products that go to a variety of stockpiles, and will quickly rot if they don't get stored or processed. Meat and fat go to your food stockpile, while bones, skulls, chunks, and raw hides need a refuse stockpile or a clear path to the chasm. Setting up appropriate and proximate stockpiles can speed production and reduce clutter in the butcher's shop.
- Food hauling is typically a low-priority job, and meat rots quickly if not in a stockpile - have ample dwarves (mostly) dedicated to food hauling for the jobs you produce, or your freshly butchered meat may go to waste.
- Butchering just one dog, a typical size 5 creature, will create 5 meat, 5 chunks, 5 bones, 1 skull and 1 fat - 17 items, all at once, and your butcher's shop is instantly mired into the 1st level of clutter, with the next task taking 2x as long as it should. Larger animals (most domestic animals are size 8-10) produce much more, creating x4 or x5 clutter delays. Therefore, it's recommended that you not only have nearby stockpiles and ample haulers, but multiple butcher's shops to distribute the workload of butchering numerous animals, each handling one in turn as the previous shop is cleared out, ready for the next job. (As an extreme alternative, deconstructing the butcher's shop and then rebuilding it will scatter the contents on the ground and outside - where they'll quickly rot unless hauled.) Some animals travel in herds of as many as 10, and multiple herds are possible.
- Create custom stockpiles for raw hides close to your tanner's shop (see Tanning) and build your tanner's shop next to your butcher's shop. Create custom stockpiles for bones and skulls close to your craftsdwarf's workshop (see Bone carving), and change the settings on your general refuse pile(s) to not accept hides, bones or skulls.
- Slaughtering will produce chunks, which have no use. They will just rot in your refuse pile. It is advisable to take measures to ward off unhappy thoughts generated by miasma, such as building your butcher's shops outside or surrounding them with multiple layers of doors.
- If your butcher's shop is outdoors and you have the "Dwarves ignore refuse from outside" option set, refuse will stay in the shop. Chunks will rot away and hides will be tanned (if you have a tanner's shop), but the bones and skulls will build up, making the butcher's shop more and more cluttered.
Glass furnace (Magma) · Kiln (Magma) · Smelter (Magma) · Wood furnace
Clutter · Kennel · Shop · Trade depot