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So I had a horse die of starvation while I was still learning about the game. I couldn't figure out how to to butcher it, but did manage to get it to an outdoor refuse pile before it stunk up the place. Now there is a skeleton there, and I can't figure out how to retrieve it so that I can turn it into bone.

How do I turn a skeleton that is in an outdoor refuse pile into usable bone?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

One of Dwarf Fortress' many quirks is that creatures who died of starvation are completely un-butcherable. It's a known bug.

Apparently, the only way Dwarves are satisfied eating 'Tame' animals, is if they've killed the animal with their own two hands via a butcher's shop (read: ) either by manually toggling the animal for slaughter with v or via the animals subsection of the stocks screen (z).

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Perhaps they are superstitious about eating an animal that died in such a inhumane way :/ –  AaronLS Aug 14 '11 at 8:14
    
@AraonLS - they won't eat animals that die of old age, either. Not sure you can get any more humane (dwarfane?) than that. –  Raven Dreamer Aug 14 '11 at 8:17

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