Freezer Pig

Today we picked up our Freezer Pig.  After an entertaining summer with our farm pig the day finally came for him to graduate.  That’s right after a lot of study in the field (literally) and further reading and reflecting on what the Vaughn family has in the way of leftovers each day it was finally time for him to move from being a farm pig to a freezer pig.  This is a great milestone in every pig’s life and one you would think he would look forward to.

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So on Tuesday we backed the truck up to his pen and
opened up the gate so he could jump right in the trailer.

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Here pig pig pig….It’s uhm… graduation day

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NO!… I don’t want to go to the butcher…
Some pigs are a faster study than others
so I tried to assist him in his decision making process.

Would you just get in the trailer?

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Look I didn’t want it to come to this,
but I’m going to turn off the cameras.

OK so the real question is how DO you get a 300 pound hog in the trailer if he doesn’t want to go?  You don’t chase him in.  You don’t coax him.  You don’t reason with him.  You don’t ask “nicely”.  We tried all those things.  No the way we got our pig on the trailer was to lasso the hind legs, plug our ears and drag him in…. little by little, inch by inch, with him squalling and hollering the whole way!  But in the end – when it’s time to graduate – it’s time to graduate.

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Finally at the butcher…a.k.a. the graduation ceremony

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How would you like your freezer pig?…  “I’m going to go with frozen.”

Seriously, we found a great local processor who made the first hog processing a joy for the family.  We went down the check list and answered all the questions they had about the cuts we wanted and asked all the questions we had.  Questions like, “Do we get bacon”?  Or, “Can you render the fat”?  The answer to these questions was we can give you the slabs of bacon and we can put your fat in a bag for you.  We thought that was a great deal and left farm pig in the gentle hands of “Mrs. Tweedy”

So what do you think he weighed?  We had our family guessing game when we got home.  Here were our guesses:

248 – Daddy
316 – Pierce
250 – Mariah
250 – Peyton
230 – Mommy
230 – Patrick

I’ll give you the answer after the next picture in case you want to play your own family guessing game.  Just remember you are guessing the hanging weight, not his body weight which you see in the pictures and video above.

The next day we called for the weight and made sure farm pig made it through the ceremony ok.  They told us he did great and would be ready to come home on Friday.  Everyone was excited this morning when I announced it was time to go get freezer pig.  We grabbed the cooler, loaded up the truck, and headed out for the processor.  The picture below is the final result of this agrarian experiment. 

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Not a bad summer’s work for carrying scraps from the kitchen to the field.  The answer to the weight question is 237 pounds of prime pork for .62 cents a pound.  Tell me again why we wouldn’t get another pig next year?  Of course we still have the exciting adventure of rendering lard and finding a meat slicer to slice our bacon…. I’m sure there will be fun stories coming up about those adventures.  Oh yea.  On Monday we pick up our beef for the year, since Monsanto won’t be ready to graduate until next summer.

7 Comments

  • tentfamily says:

    Hello Vaughan Family! Here is a suggestion for the next time you want to load a 300 pound pig who doesn’t want to be loaded. Get a bucket, put it on the pig’s head and back the pig into the trailer. This is a trick from Rick’s dad, who was an Ag/FFA instructor years ago.
    The Seargeant Family
    http://www.PlymouthRockRanch.com
    Recording the Faithfulness and Provision of God for Future Generations

  • Marci says:

    Loading pigs is always a lesson in character building. We do not keep feed in front of our pigs 24/7. In the last week or so of their life, we put their feed bowl in the backed up trailer. We pour the feed in there. They go in nicely to get their food. We close the door on the last day. =) This was after trying to use folded lawnchairs and stock panels as a moving fence to walk them between, after chasing the ones that got out of our movable fence, after picking ourselves up after the pigs knocked our movable fence over and we went down with it…… Yes, lots of memories. Then we used our brains. =)

  • PaulTN says:

    Thanks for the stories and idead! I like the bucket idea…. it seems like I had heard of that now that I’m on the freezer side of this adventure, but sure didn’t remember that day… We thought of the moving fence idea, but quickly gave that up do to the overall size of our staff. (11 and under)
    Of course the food was our first thought because that is how we returned him to his pen when he escaped the couple times he got out…after all he is a pig.
    The problem was he wasn’t suppose to go to the butcher until Wednesday. This was Tuesday morning, and we had just feed him his last meal. We gave him every scrap we had. Right after that the butcher called and said they had a cancellation and wanted to know if we could bring him in “today”. When we went to load him up he was fat dumb and happy with all the food he had just eaten, he didn’t even want to get up to say hello, let alone get in some trailer! 🙂
    Thanks for the stories and idea, I could definitely relate after this adventure. If anyone else has any wise advice or whimsical stories about pig ownership, it would be great to hear about them…. kind of a last tribute to “field pig”.

  • Tracy says:

    What breed was your freezer pig? We are totally sold on the idea of raising a pig each year now. Raising one seems like an “easy” addition to our very small farm. BTW, we averaged 4.5 lbs. on our pastured poultry. Was that very good? How big were yours? That was dressed. We did have some 5 lbs. too. We were so sorry that we didn’t get to visit you while we were in TN. Hopefully on the next trip. Our trip was too short for everything we would have liked to do.
    Tracy

  • BethTN says:

    We aren’t sure what breed he was…. we managed to plump him up with kitchen scraps, raw milk and a few bags of corn (we started fermenting – soaking the corn in the milk or water as much as possible–as per instructions from friends who raise pastured pork) But he mostly ate every scrap we had. He was very easy to raise….and very inexpensive too…even when he busted out of his boundries—he was easily led back home with food.
    Our birds… they ranged from 4.5 to 6.5 pounds. We let ours go longer (12 weeks) because they weren’t big enough for us at 8 weeks. Your birds sound like a good size—those chickens make the best broth I have ever tasted. I usually boil the chicken until the meat is done—- then take it out of the pot to pull all the meat off of it. I put all the bones and other remains back in the pot with more water and simmer it for a while for soup broth. You can save bones off of the chicken you bake or roast and make broth too.
    Hopefully see you again…nice to at least meet your family— we also had a lot going on that week.

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  • […] were concerned about loading up the animals on the trailer.  Our last experience with loading up an animal to take to the butcher was traumatic.  Traumatic only because the pig would not hop up in the trailer like we were expecting him […]

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