Pig Butchering

Another 10 inches of snow. So much for thinking spring was on the way.

DSCN0055Despite the snow it was time to butcher and process one of the pigs.  I helped to separate the girl pigs then Struggling_along did the deed and hoisted her up.  DSCN0072

The kids were happy it was snowing and that my brother and his girlfriend were showing up soon so they danced around.

DSCN0070 DSCN0091 DSCN0092 Struggling_along tended to the gutting and hair removal as we headed inside to start supper. Plus, I needed to sharpen all the knives for breaking down the pig into chops, roasts etc. the next day.

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The few photos I took while we were cutting up the meat were too blurry. Besides, most of the time my hands were too busy breaking down the hams into more manageable sized roasts and ham steaks or wrapping the meat for the freezer. Ezra decided to help label the bags.Now we have cute bags with H A M scrawled across; a few even have smiley faces.

I did snap these as I finished up grinding the sausage.

DSCN0148 DSCN0149Then we (and when I say we I mean Struggling_along and my brother) moved Mercedes in with Chevy. Hopefully he will indeed “make good things happen” and we’ll have an early fall litter of pigs.

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mossy_stone

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5 thoughts on “Pig Butchering

  1. Great pictures. Really good to see how chilled out your kids are around a pig kill, most children are so removed from where meat comes from, it’s so important to raise kids with these skills and values around food.

    • I was hoping to take more photos but the light wasn’t cooperating. I grew up with my family raising and butchering our own meat. I find it’s best to present the facts and if they come up with their own questions answer them honestly but simply. Kids pick up on any unspoken (or spoken) “you’ll be upset by this”. Meat is so much more than a plastic wrapped foam tray.

    • Well, I didn’t weigh it or really count. I do know we made at least 15 pounds of sausage. We have 4 gallon size bags of bacon. Quite a few roasts and chops. I broke down a lot of the hams into ham steaks which cook well as, for example, smothered pork chops. There are some other cuts too- like ribs etc. We just look at a book with a pic of a side of pork and which cuts come from where and decide as we go. If someone is cutting it up for you they’ll either say “this is what we give you” or you have option A or B -like more pork chops or a loin roast.

  2. It’s critical for kids to see where their food comes from. We had our 4yo and 10yo with us when we processed turkeys this year. They were quiet at first but quickly acclimated, then were eager to get in on the plucking. My fervent wish is that my kids never say, “Raw meat [or bone-in meat] just grosses me out!” Kudos to you for involving them!

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