Well, after our pig was slaughtered, here on our farm, it was time to cut up, package, and freeze all that meat.
We hung it overnight in the outdoor shower. Since the temperature was in the 20's, it was a perfect cooler.
First, LilyAnn helped me cut off most of the lard. It was at least 1" thick over most of the hog.
Bo started out as chief sausage grinder, and later LilyAnn took over. We turned most of the meat into sausage. Farrah made the seasoning for it, and several of us helped mix and package it.
Ribs- yummy! Colin was very helpful whenever I came to a bone that needed to be cut. He was our saws-all operator. :)
The weather was cool enough for us to do all the work outside on our new deck. The tarp on the deck is to keep it from getting stained.
Towards the end of the process we were racing the sun, which was beginning to sink low enough to shine right on the working area, and would make the meat too warm.
One great thing about butchering at home is we get to keep all the bones for making broth. At a professional butcher they would discard most of the bones.
We "rendered" (cooked and melted) the lard that evening. We will use it like shortening, or in soap.
I also learned how to smoke bacon. It was a fun and interesting process, and Daddy says it is the best he has ever tasted. LilyAnn seems to be better at getting sawdust to smoke than I am, so she was my helper.
Our freezer is now full of delicious, comparatively healthy meat, raised and butchered right here on our own property. We are learning new skills, and having fun working together.
It's great to live on a farm (even a tiny one in Bronson!)
Why raise a pig? Here are the basic costs/ profits:
Original cost of piglet: $75 + gas to transport him to our farm.
Feed: $0. Old bread from Publix, scraps, grass. We never bought food for this pig (though occasionally we have had to buy a little in the past.
Butchering: We made our friend take something for helping/ teaching us to butcher (I'm not sure how much).
Butcher paper (for wrapping meat): $16 for 1,000'. (From Sam's.)
Approximately 250-275 lbs of meat total.
22+ lbs. of bacon, ham (approx. 30 lbs.), about 25 lbs. ribs, 50 lbs. of roasts and tenderloin, and the rest all sausage, ground pork (unseasoned sausage), and soup bones.
Approximate cost per pound: 33 cents