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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Fred’s Campa

Meet our two newest additions to Fried Farm: Mercedes (the all white one) and Lexus.

We’re very happy to have pigs again! We miss Rosalie (our previous sow) and especially  Sanchez (our big red boar- see photo below) and all the subsequent little piglets. Of course there were many hours of frustrated pig chasing/fence fixing with the little ones in tow or as in the case of our youngest, strapped in the baby wrap and I sincerely hope not to repeat those adventures.

So far we seem to be off to a great start. Since the big barn will be coming down in the spring we needed a different place to shelter the animals- ideally mobile so we can move their housing about to new pastures. Struggling_along found just the thing: a pull behind camper.

He stripped it out (saving the stove for a future outdoor kitchen!!) and partitioned an area for the chickens on one end:

The hatch struggling_along is looking thru is for easy cleaning out the coop. The Freds also  have a small door for access to an outdoor run and the old storage cabinets are now laying boxes. The Freds are laying very well! I don’t know if it’s the breed (Gold star sex-links) but compared to other chicks we have gotten in the years prior these have started laying sooner and are very consistent. Right now we have 11 freds and we usually gather 9 eggs everyday. All the boys LOVE the chickens but I think Ishmael does most of all. He just can’t wait to go feed them in the morning or visit them any chance he gets to wander over there. Give him 30 seconds and he’ll have one in his arms.

On the other side of the camper- after leaving a spot for grain and shaving storage-is an L-shape stall for, right now, the piglets but struggling-along built the walls high enough we could but the goats in there too.

Just have to slap a little tin on the roof and we’ll be ready for winter. The best part is that this campa project only cost us 150 dollars. Scratch that- the best part is that we’ll be having Fried eggs and bacon.

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