First Pig Slaughter

| 11/12/2013 12:31:00 PM

Modern RootsI am going to start this by saying ... this isn't for the faint of hearts. So, if you are one of those, please stop reading and skip to my gardening blogs :) 

With all of the excitement I had from buying to raising to feeding and apple finishing my pigs, I was a little nervous to butcher. EVERYONE and their mother had advised me to "just bring them to the butcher." These are my reasons for not doing so: 

1. You may not get the meat you bring in back. Mix ups happen, especially at harvest time. 

2. You will not get YOUR lard back. 

3. Self-reliant living really isn't sending your stuff out for someone else to finish. I've put too much effort into specific feeding etc. to waste it on paying someone else.

4. I want to learn. I need to know how to do this sort of stuff. And I needed to know if I had it in me. 

11/13/2013 7:41:50 AM

Meg, life on the homestead is not all wine and roses. It gets a little messy at times and is not for the squeamish. My first participation in a hog processing was when I was about maybe eight years old. The first place I can remember living in life was an 80 acre farm when Dad gentlemen farmed and had a regular job in town. I didn't actually witness the kill or the bleeding of the animal. Dad always shot the hogs right behind the ear with the gun pointed into the brain. He claimed that the pig's head was too tough and sometimes the bullets would penetrate the bone. We didn't have tractors with lift hoists or backhoes on Dad's farm so a good stout tree branch with a chain hoist was the method. After the pig was shot, it was hoisted up in the tree then bled out. The blood was caught because I guess a German dish of some kind was made with it. That dish was never made in our house. The pig was skinned and the process began. A group of neighbors were always willing to help each other on processing day. My job was to cut the fat from the hog into one inch square chunks so it could be rendered into lard. ***** When growing up on a farm, I learned quickly that life and death happens on the farm. I've always had a healthy respect for what I buy at the store because I know what it took behind the scene to bring it to market for me to buy. ***** Have a great day on the homestead.

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