How can I butcher non-tame animals that I've captured, like deer in cages?

1 Answer 1


Non-tame animals are bugged in 31.12 such that if they need to be moved more than a few steps, the dwarves carrying them panic, drop them, and flee, freeing the wild animal (or goblin) and causing chaos.

In addition to this, I believe the "slaughter an animal" task only applies to tame animals. "butcher a dead animal" is how you handle hunted animals, but this is hard given the abovementioned bug.

a) -- throw the animals into a pit. The pit must be as close to the cage with the animal as possible. once you have successfully "pitted" the animal, your marksdwarves / hunters can dispatch it at their leisure.

b) -- build the cage into a room, link it to a lever, station your military, and have someone pull the lever. Military will kill the animal, and then your butcher will run over and grab the corpse.

  • No, he won't. Butchers will only butcher animals they themselves have killed, check the wiki.
    – user56
    Sep 12, 2010 at 18:44
  • 5
    @Arda Xi, I'm sorry, but you're wrong. The wiki may be a great source, but it is also occasionally outdated or outrightly false. I am currently playing a fort where I send my wrestlers out to punch unicorns to death. The dwarves then bring the corpse to a refuse pile, whereupon my butcher grabs the carcass, and the next thing you know it's Unicorn Brain Biscuits for everyone! Sep 12, 2010 at 20:34
  • @Raven - For me, it's never been possible to harvest corpses. Are you using 31.12?
    – user56
    Sep 12, 2010 at 21:14
  • @Arda Xi, yes. Is your problem that you kill something outside the fort? In that case, you might need to o - r - "dwarves gather refuse from outside" so that they will leave your cozy fort and go grab the corpse. Sep 12, 2010 at 21:18
  • @Raven - No, actually, it was inside. They won't go on to the refuse pile for meat.
    – user56
    Sep 13, 2010 at 4:34

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