Monday 19 November 2012

Ready for Pork

It's mid-November now and not only has the weather cooled down, but the hogs have gained enough weight to be brought in for the Winter.

Also, they become large, and unruly during feeding time and it gets tiresome dealing with their poor manners twice a day.

And, they eat quite a lot and I'm ready to eliminate that expense until next year.

It is a lot of work to turn hogs into pork, but that's because we are still learning.
I bet that after a few years of this, we'll be bringing pork in without as much struggle.

We have the tools that we need.
Though I could use another building.
We have the experience from four previous hogs.
But many of the challenges haven't been adequately resolved.

The plan is to start with this year's pigs.
There are two leftover from last year and they are massive.
We'll get some practice on the smaller ones before trying to handle 400+ lb sows.
Even then, I don't think our current system will work with the older animals.
I have strengthened the hanging pole but the older pigs are wary and not easily fooled into their own demise.
I expect trouble.

For now, we are sharpening knives and rearranging things to set up for butchering.
It is illegal for us to sell our meat but it is permitted to kill and butcher meat for your own immediate family.
The reason we raise hogs is to provide us with meat that we have controlled from beginning to end; it's certainly not a money making venture.

After we're through, there'll be a large freezer full of roasts, chops, ribs, ground pork, bacon, and various other cuts.
We ran out of pork early last year.
This year bodes well for a larger stock of frozen meat.

I'm not looking forward to late cold nights in the cooler cutting up whole hogs into family sized portions.
But the promise of tasty, wholesome meat for the better part of the year is enticing enough to get me to keep at it.
Especially the thought of bacon on a snowy Sunday morning in December.


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