You Bought Your Heritage Breed Pastured Pig, Now What? (Pt 2)
So, You Ordered A Pig, Now What?
In Part 1 of this post, we discussed the options available for processors. In this part, we’ll look at how much it costs to buy a pig and have it processed.
If you ordered a pastured pig from High Grace Farm, you were required to pay a deposit while you wait for it to be butchered. There are 2 reasons for that.
First, it seems unlikely, but some customers have ordered a hog before and then have never responded when the time came to pay for it and send it to the butcher. I know, hard to believe, right?
Also, your pig was already at market weight (around 240 pounds) when you bought it, but it still has to be fed while it waits for its special day! It’s your pig, we ask you to help pay for the cost of feeding it.
Since the wait time is long right now, your hog is still continuing to grow. We feed only a maintenance ration so it is not growing as much as it would, but it still grows. Because of the long wait time to get an appointment at the butcher, the hog you bought at 240 or 250 pounds could be substantially bigger by time it gets to the processor. That won’t affect the price you paid for it, but it will affect how much it will cost to have it processed.
How Much Will I Have to Pay the Processor
The processing fee is pretty straightforward. The processor charges a kill fee of $50, and then charges $.50/pound to cut up and package the meat. That fee is based on the ‘hanging weight’ of the hog, that is, the weight after it has been killed and dressed. For commercially raised hogs, the average hanging weight is about 57% of the live weight. Our heritage breed hogs tend to have a higher ratio, around 60-67% of the live weight. You should expect your hog to be between 250 and 300 pounds live, and the hanging weight to be 160-200 pounds.
For a pig with a hanging weight of 200 pounds, you would pay the kill fee of $50 and $100 for processing (.50 x 200 pounds), and then any extra fees based on the products you order.
The processor charges a fee of $1/pound to cure and smoke the bacon and $1/pound for link sausage instead of bulk sausage. If you got 10 pounds of bacon from your hog, it would cost an extra $10. It also takes some time to cure and smoke the bacon, so you’ll have to go back a few weeks later to pick it up. Add any cost for sausage you want in link form.
You pay the processor when you go to pick up your meat.
The hanging weight is not the final weight of the meat you will receive. Once the feet, fat, scraps, bones, etc are removed, you’ll end up with rest, and it will weigh less than the hanging weight.