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I am very new to Dwarf Fortress. I have been making liberal use of the Dwarf Fortress wiki, but I have not been able to solve the following issue:

After butchering an animal, there are bones left in the Butcher workshop.

Here is the scenario: My butcher workshop is next to a refuse stockpile and food stockpile. The food stockpile is linked to the butcher workshop and has the option enabled to only receive items from the butcher workshop. The refuse stockpile is also linked to the butcher workshop, but is enabled to receive items from the entire fortress.

I have seen my tanner make tanned hides from the products of my butcher workshop so I believe that tells me refuse items are being sent to the refuse stockpile.

So, what could be the reason that bones remain in the butcher workshop? Shouldn't they also be placed in the refuse stockpile?

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Make sure that your refuse stockpile is set to accept bones. In the stockpile settings menu, go to Refuse, then highlight Bones and press p to permit all types of bones in that stockpile.

Another issue may be a lack of dwarves who have the Hauling labor enabled. Your tanner will pick up leather straight from the butcher's workshop if it hasn't been hauled to a stockpile, so the lack of leather doesn't imply that other items are being hauled correctly. Most dwarves should have that enabled by default, so check you haven't disabled it.

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Some suggestions:

  • Give it time. Your dwarves have other priorities that they may be attending to, such as higher-priority labors, socializing, eating, and sleeping.
  • If hauling jobs aren't being taken care of in a timely fashion, it could help to make sure that you have peasant dwarves with no labors enabled except for hauling.
  • If the slow hauling results in your butcher shop getting cluttered, you can deconstruct and rebuild the butcher shop to rid it of its items. This won't fix the problem of the bones not being where they should be, but it will fix the problem of butchering jobs being slowed down (up to 10×) due to clutter.
  • Make sure that you didn't fiddle with your standing orders and, say, tell your dwarves to ignore refuse or to send it all to a garbage dump (and then forget to create the garbage dump)

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