Saturday, February 21, 2015

This Big Piggy Stayed Home...

Yesterday, we slaughtered our first pig on the farm.
We've sent a few pigs to the butcher before, but this time we decided to try it ourselves.  And it was worth it!

Some of us have wanted to butcher our pig at home for a while, but it has always seemed to daunting a task.  Finally though, we decided to try.
A friend from church came to help.  He's butchered a few hundred pigs, so he knows what he's doing!

The piggy died happy in his pen.  After it was bled out, we used the truck to drag it over to our very sturdy swing set for cleaning.

Rigging the hoisting tackle.

"Heave ho!"  (350-400 lbs deadweight takes some muscle to drag!)

Up he goes!

Tying the rope to a tree so the pig doesn't fall on somebody's head.

Then it was time to rinse it off,

and begin skinning.

And now we come to the pig's tail...  In Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls describes her family's hog butchering, and tells how much fun it was for children to roast and eat the pigs' tails.  So Justice claimed this tail (before the hog was butchered).  He was planning to skin and eat it.

Chilly spectators in the hammock.

Skinning and gutting completed.  Now it's time to cut the carcass in half.

The pig tail again:  Finally I took pity on Justice, who had been trying to skin it for a while, and was only coming perilously near to skinning his fingers instead.  He was so happy when it was safely skinned and delivered to him.

All done!  Time to go inside for a break!

The outdoor shower made a good cooler for the pig overnight.  It seemed kind of funny storing meat outside, but the temperature was in the 20's, so there was no danger of spoilage.

The pig tail yet again....

Roasting a pig's tail is great fun!

"That fire is hot if you look at it too long!"

Chef Justice, with his prize dish:  Fresh roasted pig tail!
He kindly allowed us all to sample it, and it was actually pretty good.  (But I think I'll stick to eating the rest of the pig.)

The next day was the real butchering:  cutting up, packaging and freezing all that meat!  We are thankful to be able to work on these projects as a family!

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