Carabao Processing and Utilization

Products derived from carabaos are numerous and comparable to cattle. The utilization and evaluation of carabeef and its comminuted products have shown that its end products have shown that its end products are at par or even better than other animals. This is especially true if the meat utilized do not come from retired draft animals. The sensory evaluation tests between carabeef and beef show that reared under the same plane of nutrition and slaughtered at the same age, both have indistiguishable eating qualities.

Carabao milk is comparably high in nutrient content particularly in butterfat. Such quality has made it desirable and preferable over cows milk for the manufacture of soft cheese in places like Laguna, Samar and Cebu.

While leather from carabao hide and kroepeck made from snouts, feet, ligaments and tendons are generally popular, the feasibility and practicability of processing the inedible products to tallow, glue, steamed blood and bone meal are still under study.

General rules for the slaughter of carabaos:

  1. The carabao for slaughter should at least be three years and above and not suited for breeding. Slaughter only healthy and well finished animals.
  2. Animals confirmed to be pregnant should not be slaughtered.
  3. Animals coming far should be rested before slaughter.
  4. Slaughter animals should be fasted at least for 24 hours and provided with constant water supply. Fasting facilitates evisceration.
  5. Excitement and fatigue on the part of the animals should be avoided for a thorough bleeding.

Slaughter procedure

Carabaos should be slaughtered in the BAI accredited slaughterhouses. This is a requirement especially if the carabeef is intended for public consumption. The following are the general procedures for the slaughter of carbaos:

1. Bath the animal all over to remove adhering dirts.

2. Tie the animal to a post or a ring in the floor, or drive it into a knocking pen if available.

3. Stun the animal. Stunning maybe done by hitting at the intersection of two diagonal lines connecting the eyes and the bases of the horns with a sledge hammer or captive bolt. The same effect is produced if a matador is used, but in this case it is done in the intersection of a line midway between the horns and line joining the midpoint of the ears.

After stunning, severe the point over the brisket toward the jaw then insert the sticking knife in front of the brisket at a 40% angle. Severe the jugular vein and carotid arteries for a thorough bleeding. To collect the blood easily, from a pouch over the skin of the brisket where incision was made.

4. After bleeding, shackle the animal and lift it by a mechanical hoist to a skinning cradle where the skin is partially flayed. Remove the feet and cut the breast into halves.

5. From the skinning cradle, transfer the carcass to the meat rail where flaying is completed and the head is cut at the atlantooccipital joint.

6. To remove the visceral organs, cut through the pelvic bone to the region of the breastbone. An ax maybe used in cutting. Avoid puncturing the intestine and the stomach.

7. Separate the edible from the inedible parts of the entrails. The viscera are inspected on the tripe stand after the contents are removed. Offals are placed in a buggy and taken to the tripery for cleaning, preparation and dispatching.

8. Split the carcass by cutting through the middle vertebral column. Wash and trim thoroughly the carcass. Hang the carcass on the hanging rail to drip.

9. Quarter the carcass on the side between the last two ribs.


Fig. 26a. Bleeding

Fig. 26b. Hanging the carcass in the skinning cradle

Fig. 26c. Flaying

Fig. 26d. Cutting the Vertebral Column

10. Weigh, brand the carcass and have a meat inspection certificate issued for dispatching.

11. If the carcass is not for immediate disposal, chill overnight at a temperature of about 2 to 4oC.

Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Carabeef

Although consumers have prejudices to carabeef, the meat will still constitute a considerable portion of our meat supply because of its food value. It was reported that the lean muscle from carabeef had the same protein, fat, minerals and water content as beef.

The physical and chemical properties of the meat affect its quality and has been shown to be important to consumer preference. Several meat preparations using carabeef have been accpeted both by general consumers and the trained taste panel in terms of flavor, juiciness and tenderness.

Carabeef from relatively young and fattened animals have the same eating quality as beef. They should therefore command the same price in the red meat market.

For more information, contact:

Livestock Division
Department of Agriculture
Regional Field Unit No. VII
M. Velez St., Cebu City

The publication of this guide was made possible through the Livestock Division of DA-RFU-VII. May this serve our clientele at its best. – Eduardo B. Lecciones, Jr., Regional Executive Director

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