In the last post we discussed how much it will cost to pay the processor to butcher your pig.
In this post, we’ll finally talk about the different cuts of meat and what you can ask for and expect from the butcher.
How A Hog is Cut
There is a wealth of information available on the many different cuts of pork and how they are produced.
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
If you’ve ordered a whole hog or half of a hog from High Grace Farm, and are waiting to have it processed, you’re in for a treat. I’m always excited to take a hog in to the processor, order the specific cuts I want, and come back a few days later to pick up some of the freshest, most delicious pork I could hope for. Our heritage breed, pastured pigs yield a delicious, rich, moist pork that is much different from the lean, dry pork marketed as “the other white meat.”
If you’ve never bought a hog before and had it butchered to your specifications, you may have some questions about what to expect. In this post, I’ll try to answer some of the questions I had the first few times I did this, and some of the questions others have asked when they processed the pork they bought from us. It is a long post with a lot of information, so I’ll break it up into several posts.
If you don’t want to read through the whole thing, use these links to jump to your particular question.
Who Butchers My Pig?
“Back in the day…”
Grace and Faith sometimes roll their eyes when I start to tell stories about the good old days, when things were done differently, and usually better. But, back in the day, in this area of Stedman and Fayetteville North Carolina, local farmers raised hogs on pasture and then processed them for pork in the fall of the year.
In late fall–November and December–the chilly air was just right to aid in what was a large task. Butchering and cutting pork is not an easy job. At that time of year, many of the other harvest tasks had been completed and families or neighbors would have more time to get together to butcher hogs. A killing frost would have taken care of any flies or other insects that could spread disease and spoil the meat.