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.
So on Tuesday we backed the truck up to his pen and
opened up the gate so he could jump right in the trailer.
Here pig pig pig….It’s uhm… graduation day
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?
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.
Finally at the butcher…a.k.a. the graduation ceremony
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.
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.