By Mark

This Wednesday is the 10th Anniversary of the Nikdovnihan Church.  Its also a national holiday celebrating the Mongolian Independence (I’m still trying to get the full story on it).  Anyway the celebration is a big deal and calls for sheep.  The sheep runs about 80,000 ₮ or about 75 dollars.  I’ve seen several examples on YouTube of how Mongolians slaughter sheep but wanted to see it for myself.  When I went by to find out when the slaughter would be happening or in my limited vocabulary- Sheep When (draw line across throat- it is a universal signal)?  Answer- Now.  Hmm, didn’t bring the camera with so the following were taken with my cell phone (I am happy to say that I have discovered how to transfer pictures via blue tooth to the computer!) Below is the sheep- let’s call her Dolly.

the sheep

I expected this to take place outside- instead they lead the sheep into the kitchen.  I can say this, sheep don’t go anywhere easily.  Its not uncommon to hear bleating around the apartment buildings and look up to see a sheep on a balcony.  What makes the Mongolian slaughter technique unique is that they do not slit the throat.  Instead a small incision is made in the belly (see below) and the person reached in and either tears the aorta or simply holds the heart until it stops.  I could see the arterial blood on the guys hand so I’m sure he tore the aorta (or thoracic artery).  The sheep really doesn’t move much and is out in about 1 minute. 

sheep slaughter 2

sheep slaughter 3

There really is no blood.  Its really a great way to slaughter because it keeps the blood off of the hide so that it doesn’t need to be cleaned. 

sheep slaughter 1

In no time the hide is ripped off- except for a portion of hide over the brisket.  I asked and they said they cook it, I’m not sure if they mean the hair with the brisket meat or what.  When the internal organs are removed the blood is scooped out into a pan.  I would estimate there was about 3-3.5 liters of blood.  When dressed out this sheep will probably yield about 25-30 lbs. of meat.  They say that the meat from the head makes good bootz or steamed dumplings.  Nothing is wasted.  The hide will be sold for 2000 ₮ about $1.50  As I left the intestines were being cleaned out and the stomach as well.  I’m glad I’ve dressed out deer and been around cutting up meat.  I can’t say I really enjoy the smell of the intestines (thankfully they turned on a fan- I guess the Mongolians we not big fans of the smell either)  but all of that helped me enjoy watching this.  The whole process was about 20 – 30 minutes.