Pig, and more Pig means lots of Pork.. o my..

Well, we got another big 250 plus pound gilt done today for our own home use, it went well, we are getting in the grove on this now that we have done five large blacks and one pot belly pig this year so far, out of Miss Piggies litter of eight, we currently have three gilts left, they are coming between 250 and 300 pounds at this point live weight.

I did two on the small end, two that would be considered roasting piglets, and the rest have been at different stages, this turned out to be a excellent choice, not only because it allowed us to eat fresh pork and allowed me to work on my pig butchering skill and my processing skills on smaller amounts, so that by the time I got to the big girls, I had a routine, which makes everything so so much better.

Having said that, I still have a good four hundred plus pounds of meat (never mind bones or fat) that is labeled pork, thank heavens for having a number of freezers on the farm.

So while I had been pretty much been keeping up with the fresh pork on the smaller pigs, with limited amounts being frozen and in our “personal freezer”, now we are starting to reach the point where I need to do something else, I need that freezer space back, and that really only leaves me with one choice, I need to can!

I need to can some pork just as pork, I need to make sausage and scramble it and can it up for later use, I need to make some pork stew bases and can them up, I need to make pulled pork in sauce and can it up, I need to make ham and can it up..

Yup, I figure I need to can at least a min or a hundred to hundred and fifty pounds worth of pork in the next week or two..

I need to render lard, and can it up for later use in the kitchen, baking and soap making, as well as salve making.

I need to make sausages, lots and lots of sauages, I am going to make some just pork but I also want to make pork/rabbit and pork/lamb, pork/duck and see how they turn out.

I am curing bacon and Canadian bacon, and hams, o my the hams, cured with different spices and they are going to be slowly smoked with fruit wood.. yum, yum..

soon, I will frying up a big old batch of chitlens with a fresh horseradish dipping sauce..

I have all the organs being held fresh in the fridge, planning on slicing up the liver for some different things but going to put some into milk before having a big old feed of fresh liver and onions, a pretty little spleen to make a fancy dish with, and I need I held back something new today to use on a dish that I have never tried before, will share soon!

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10 Responses to Pig, and more Pig means lots of Pork.. o my..

  1. LuckyRobin says:

    So you are butchering the pigs yourself at home? Is that hard to do? Have you written about it in the past here on your blog? If so, can you direct me to the month? I’ve been reading up on it, and it seems massively more complicated than rabbits. I figured if I ever did it, it might be a suckling pig because it is small. Not even sure how to handle a big one! That must take a few people.

    • Hi lucky Robin,

      correct, for the pork that we are using only for ourselves on the farm, we are allowed to self-butcher, the rules are very clear where we live, if we want to sell any pork for farm gate sales, we must have them done at the provincial butcher and they will be stamped etc.. but for us, it saves a lot!!! of money, doing that pig yesterday will have saved us around 400 on hualing and butcher costs, I figure we have said close to two thousand in the past year alone between the birds, rabbits, pigs and lamb I have done for our own freezers.

      I have written about it some but if you are looking for a detailed step by step posts, that I have not done, talk to me about what it is you are looking for in detail and I will see what I can do.

      It is indeed more work then rabbits for sure..

      Starting with a weaner pig is a good idea, smaller is easier but it will only prep you so much for when you get to the bigger animals.

      I have done two in the past month, both where around 250-300 pounds live weight, it took two of us to lift it into the wheelbarrel, and we wheeled it up to the butcher area, I have been able to get a full steel counter with two huge steel sinks, I have all the cold running water that you want with a pressure control, I can go light or I can do fairly strong streams.

      I do wash the pig before we lift it up, I am skinning (I have no way to heat that amount of water, no way to lift and dip, that would take a tractor and I don’t have one), so I skin, and then trim off the underlays of fat and keep that back for rending.

      Then I just break it down into sections, I have the far sink for bits that go to the hounds, a bucket for chickens on the ground, a bucket for things that need to be composted(dug and covered, and we keep a fitted tote in the first sink filled with ice cold water that has a trickle effect to keep the meat that comes off well chilled, this set up also is lifted high enough that your back is not killing you when done..

      I was able to do the smaller pigs on my own (up to about 150 pds) but after that, I really needed either a second person to help hold things for me, or I would have had to rig something to do that holding of the one leg up and over this way.. I don’t have any power tools, so I am doing it all with knives, and a bone saw..

      Now if you really want a rind on your bacon, cut it out, give a full wash and chill, then take out, hold in place and you can use a small torch in a sweeping motion and then scrape with a dull blade and the black or color will come off and you will be left with pink under it, so you can do that on small amounts if needed..

      • LuckyRobin says:

        Thank you so much for the detailed answer. Right now I am just curious how complicated it is. I am reading a book on home butchering and was really looking for how that relates to real life experience from someone. The sink setup sounds great. We are a few years out from possibly raising pigs. I’m just in the research phase right now.

  2. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Holy “smokes” FG; now that’s a friggin’ tonne of work my Girl!
    As per usual, Feast or Famine, my dear (but, I’m guessin’, winter’s starting to look pretty good at this point though, hey?; )

    • True, true, its a good amount of work but we are getting better at getting it done and it really really saves you a lot of money if do it yourself, plus I can cut it in the ways I want etc.

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Hm, so I wonder how long, how much schooling/experience it would take to become a “licenced” butcher>abbatoire? It’s a good thing, if you have “the knack”.

  3. Marie says:

    I am just amazed that you are able to do it all like that. Hats’ off!

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