Friday, March 6, 2015

This Big Piggy Stayed Home: Pt. 2

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.

Cutting out the tenderloin.

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.
Operation Sausage Grinding:  Savana deboning meat, Alayna chopping it into smaller pieces for the grinder, LilyAnn running the grinder.

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


  1. Hi. This is unrelated to this current post, but I saw a YouTube video channel called AlaynaMay Goat Lady. Is this you? If so, I watched the disbudding video of a white buck. You mentioned aloe and goldenseal root for cooling. What is the brands, ingredients? (if you have a picture that would help) Also, you poured the milk into a stainless funnel wide like a plate and fit perfectly into the Mason Jar. What is that called? And the name/type/size of the round filters you used? (Again, a photo would help) I am hoping to find the supplies on Amazon. Thanks for the videos and valuable information you provide.

  2. Hi Shaun,
    Yes, I am AlaynaMayGoatLady on Youtube. We grow our own aloe, so I can't give you a brand name for it. I buy goldenseal root in capsules from Walmart or Here is the link to the specific brand:
    The milk strainer I used was purchased from Hoegger Goat Supply ( ). It has lasted very well, being used almost every day for the last 7 years. You may be able to find a similar one on Amazon. The filters we buy for it are Schwartz Tuffy Filter Clean filters. ( )
    The strainer fits perfectly on top of a wide mouthed Mason jar, or a pickle jar. A regular mouth Mason jar needs a funnel on top for the strainer to fit.
    Thank you for commenting! If you have any more questions, send me an email @
    Alayna May

  3. FYI, Run your fat through your meat grinder using a coarse plate. It will greatly speed up your rendering time and yield a much nicer lard than trying to render out chunks like ya all are doing.

    1. Thank you for the info! I will be sure to remember that next time.