We recently butchered the first of the pair of hogs we've been raising since September. These were the first hogs we ever raised. Despite our hesitations, it went quite well. They did get out quite a few times when they first arrived but after training them to the electric fence, they seemed content in their designated place. It was about a quarter acre in some overgrown woods we'd originally fenced for the goats. The pair seemed happy to root around for acorns or grubs or whatever it was they seemed to be finding. We were also quite pleased with how well they gained weight. We fed them our own heirloom field corn and surplus dairy from our cow along with some garden extras. With warm weather approaching and our feed for them running low, it was time to butcher the pigs. With the help of willing friends and advice of experienced butchers, we began the task this past snowy Monday morning.
|Since we wanted to cure the meat, we decided we needed to scald the pig instead of just skinning it. We have an outdoor wood burning water stove, so we had a good supply of hot water. So we tried filling a barrel with the hot water. In the end, we decided to run hot water out of a hose over the pig. This loosened the hair enough to scrape it off.|
|Gutting the hog.|
|Cutting out the backbone, then cutting up the rest of the carcass.|
|While the adults were busy with the butchering, the kids were busy enjoying the quickly melting snow.|