Processing A Pig

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I came across the video above the other day that shows the complete steps of processing a pig from start to finish. Those with a weaker stomach may want to skip it.

Raising an animal for food is a natural progression for those looking to live a self-sufficient life. First comes the herb garden, then perennials, and before you know it; you have chickens running around the yard.

Chickens are often referred to as a gateway animal and they have been the downfall of many homesteaders. Once you have fresh eggs daily from your flock; your mind runs rampant trying to decide what other animals you can legally add to the backyard; without upsetting the local code enforcement or your spouse of course. Personally; my wife scares me more than the code enforcer!

Raising a pig is usually one of the next animals that a person trying to live self-sufficiently attempts. If you have the space and are allowed to raise them; you should do it. Pigs are a joy to have around the homestead and provide a number of benefits over other animals.

  1. They process feed more effectively then cattle, goats or sheep.
  2. Help prepare soil for planting by rooting.
  3. Will gladly take care of any extra vegetables from the garden.
  4. Will gladly eat any scraps from the kitchen; just be careful what you feed them.
  5. If you have a dairy animal, they will be more than happy to take care of any extra milk you have.
  6. Make cleaning the garden at the end of the planting season a snap.
  7. They are an intelligent and loving animal if handled daily.

Should you process them yourself, or take them to a meat cutter is one of the biggest emotional dilemmas faced by people who raise their own animals. I try not to get too attached to my pigs, but anyone that can raise an animal from a baby without any type of emotion has lost a little bit of their humanity in my opinion. It is probably the biggest reason why we use a local butcher.

Division of labor is another reason why we have our pigs processed elsewhere. We are trying to be as self-sufficient as possible but sometimes it is more efficient to not do everything yourself. I would never be able to utilize the knife work and speed the animal is broken down with as shown in the video above; they have years of experience that I could never gain. My time and energy would be better served elsewhere; for example; making the garden bigger, digging a pond or expanding the pigs pasture area.

Below is part two of the video series which goes into more detail on the preservation methods of the meat. This I can, and gladly do.

The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals

Imagine a weekend breakfast featuring eggs, bacon, and honey from your own chickens, pigs, and bees. Or a holiday meal with your own heritage-breed turkey as the main attraction. With The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals, even urban and suburban residents can successfully raise chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, rabbits, goats, sheep, cows, pigs, and honey bees. It’s easier than you think, and it can be done on small plots of land. This essential guide covers everything from selecting the right breeds to producing delicious fresh milk, cheese, honey, eggs, and meat. Whether you want to be more self-sufficient, save money, or just enjoy safer, healthier, more delicious animal products, you’ll find all the information you need in The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals.