This is a goat carcass showing some of the basic cuts that come from the goat and
where they are located. Notice on this chart, the neck is left as part of the Forequarter.
The lower part of the chart shows individual cuts and has pictures of the individual
neck cuts showing Neck Chops (steak) is made from the lower part of the neck. This
better documents why the South African standard calls for the neck to be moderate
in length, FULL and WELL FLESHED. The thinner the neck, the less meat for the neck
chops and a lower muscle to bone ratio.
The chart to the left is of a lamb carcass. One of the research articles I read,
said the lamb and goat carcass were very similar other than the goat has less fat.
This is another example of being able to see where different cuts of meat are located
on a carcass.
The chart to the left is another lamb chart showing a little better where different
cuts come from on the carcass. This better enables us to know where to look on our
goats for the potential areas of meat utilized by the industry.
Overall, 50% live weight is wholesale carcass but only 34% is retail boneless chevon
meat. (reference 2)
For carcass evaluation, however, the fore- and hind saddles are separated between
the 12th and 13th rib to show rib eye and loin eye areas, and subcutaneous fat thickness.
The fore saddle, shoulder, rack, fore shank and breast make up approximately 51%
the carcass or 25.5% of live weight. The hind saddle, loin, leg and flank comprise
the difference of 49% or 24.5% respectively. (reference 2)
Principal Cuts Primal cuts are the leg, loin, rack and shoulder. The largest cut
is the leg, about 33% the carcass or 16.51% the live goat. On a retail basis it would
be trimmed down to 24% carcass weight. The sirloin is normally included with the
leg after separation of the loin at the seventh or last lumber vertebra. (reference
Leg - The leg may be prepared as Frenched, American or boneless. For the Frenched
leg, only the tail bones, hock bones, Achilles tendon, fat trim and prefemoral lymph
node are removed and the shank bone is exposed. For the American leg, the shank bone
and the shank muscle are also removed. The whole leg may also be cut into 4 to 6
sirloin chops, the rump, center roast and shank. The latter two can be sliced into
steaks. The best use of the leg is as boneless cut, after removing the whole pelvic
bone and femur. For roasting, the boneless leg needs to be tied together or jet-netted.
Loin - The loin is the most valuable and most tender cut. Only 4% of the live weight
is retail loin cuts. Kidney fat is usually left on the wholesale carcass to protect
the valuable tenderloin muscle underneath from discoloration and dehydration. The
loin may be prepared as double loin chops, or after sawing through the lumbar vertebrae
as single chops containing the characteristic T from the vertebral process as in
T-bone steak of beef. The rack may be prepared likewise into rib chops, containing
at least one rib, but may be cut considerably thicker than pork chops or beef steaks
because of their small size.
Shoulder - The largest cut in the foresaddle is the shoulder, second in size only
to the leg. Shoulder cuts are priced less than leg and loin because of less tenderness
and palatability. However, Saratoga roll boneless shoulder blade chops composed largely
of rib eye muscle make very tender and juicy chevon. The rest of the shoulder goes
for stew or shish kabobs. The shoulder can also be made into a jet-netted boneless
shoulder roast. Rough cuts, the flank, fore shank and breast are best ground up,
but can be utilized also cubed or as spareribs
Boneless leg - hind leg, sirloin off with femur and tibia removed
Loin - separated from rack between 12 and 13 rib, includes sirloin
French rack - contains ribs 3-12, distal end of ribs bare for 1.5 in.
Saddle- loin and rack left intact
Shoulder - includes ribs 1 and 2, shank and neck
Shoulder ( cut) - neck, shank and portion of breast removed
Ribs w/ breast - ventral ¾ of ribs 3-12 with sternum (breast) intact.