Our pigs are getting close :(

gardengalrn(5KS)August 24, 2010

We've had pigs before but honestly, we really like these ones, LOL! Very good personalities but alas, they have about 2 wks worth of feed left before they head off to butcher. The last set of pigs we had we kept in the confines of a hog panel fence. We had 3 this time instead of 2 and the spring was sooooo darn wet that their caged area was just a bunch of mire. Not good piggy mire but wet muck they couldn't escape from. So, we were blessed with having a nice large pasture and it so happened that the part where their pen was was also enclosed by a big fence that the previous owners used to contain Emus. So, DH let them out. He said if we wanted feedlot animals we could just go to the store...anyways...so in reality they became "pastured." Still fed them grain but they were free to run and go (which they did and most entertaining), but they have also had their fair share of grass. My question is, is this something the slaughter place needs to know? Do you age pork like you would beef? I wasn't there when DH took the last ones, he was headed to Iraq and we butchered them too small to avoid me having to deal with them while he was gone. I don't plan to go with him this time either...I've gotten kinda attached to the darn critters. My Dad said he always finished his pigs off on corn but their feed that they eat primarily does have corn in it. Sorry for the rant but any advice would be helpful. Lori

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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

We've home butchered hogs and not let the meat age at all, and it was wonderful.

My butcher, who is excellent, does let hogs hang a couple of days. Each carcass that he handles gets the hang time individually adjusted. If you have a really good butcher, turn it over to him and trust him.

I haven't had hogs for a few years. We used to get some piglets at the end of summer and raise them up on apples and mixed grain (dry cob). The meat was superb.

I've always kept my pigs penned, in a pen large enough for them to get some exercise and small enough for me to go in a couple of time a day and shovel out so the pen stayed clean. (shade is an absolute must-have)

You can buy hog finisher at the feed store, but I never did. I like to see my grain so I know what's in it and can be sure it's not spoiled. Grain with molasses could be anything hidden in there.

I always figure that if I'm home raising meat, I want the best, and I'm not going to risk that by saving a dollar or two on the feed.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 9:07PM
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gardengalrn(5KS)

Hey, Oregonwoodsmoke, thanks for the insight. We don't have a "butcher," but of course the slaughter place does that for us. We feed our pigs a mix of grain intended for them and they have that free-will at the feeder. We refresh their water several times daily, more in the heat. We don't have an orchard (yet) but friends are more than happy for us to take their windfall and the pigs happily eat it. They have been pretty darn happy critters. From what you say, I gather that even pigs need a little hang time so I will mention that to our slaughter people. Thanks again, Lori

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 2:06AM
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