How to Butcher Animals in Dwarf Fortress

If you're not sure how to raise your meat supply, you need to read our guide on how to butcher animals in Dwarf Fortress.

Dwarf Fortress, the settlement management and fortress-building game developed by Bay 12 Games is so complex that simple actions can be difficult. If you’re struggling with sustaining your meat supply, you may be surprised to learn that a few hidden options may make it easier for you. Keep reading for a full understanding of butchering animals in the game. 

Before you read this guide, check out our guide on how to raise and train animals in Dwarf Fortress so you can have animals to butcher.


How to Butcher Animals in Dwarf Fortress

To butcher animals, toggle the slaughter option in the Pet/Livestock screen under the Creatures tab. Then, add the Butcher an animal task at the Butcher’s Shop, and your Dwarves will butcher the animal. In addition, you can hunt, kill, and collect animal parts using Standing orders under Labor (y).

Toggling the Slaughter Option on Livestock

To prepare your Pets or Livestock for butchering, click the Citizen Information Panel (u), then click the Creatures tab, and then the Pets/Livestock tab. Finally, click the butcher knife icon. 

Toggling the slaughter option in Dwarf Fortress
Toggling the slaughter option

Butchering the Animal at the Butcher’s Shop

Build a Butcher’s Shop by hitting Build (b)Workshops (o)Farming (f), and Butcher (b). Once built, click the Butcher’s Shop and then click the Add new task button. Finally, hit Butcher an animal. Your Dwarves will automatically butcher the animal. 

Butchering an Animal Dwarf Fortress
Butchering an Animal

Using Standing Orders to Collect More Meat

Standing orders in Dwarf Fortress are universal orders that all your Dwarves will follow. Open Labor (y), then click Standing orders. Click Refuse and dumping and select the option Workers gather outdoor vermin remains. Now, when you kill an animal out in the wild, your Dwarves will take it back to your Stockpiles. 

Gather Vermin Remains in Dwarf Fortress
Workers gather outdoor vermin remains

Activating your Butcher task will produce more meat from these remains. You also should make sure that under Automated workshops that the Automatically butcher carcasses option is on. 

Now that you know how to butcher animals in the game, you should produce a pretty steady stream of meat for your Fortress. 

How did it go in your playthrough? Are your hunters having pathing problems? Let us know in the comments section below. 

For more Dwarf Fortress Guides, see below

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