Author Topic: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer  (Read 2385 times)

Goldy

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Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« on: May 12, 2020, 11:13:44 AM »
A few weeks ago I read a few stories about hog farmers euthanizing their herds because the processing plants had closed and they had nowhere else to take them which really rubbed me the wrong way so I started looking for a farmer to sell me a couple.  It took a few days but I found a farmer who had opened his barn doors to the public and was selling his Duroc pigs for a fraction of what he would normally get just so they would go to use instead of being buried.  All I needed to do was field dress the animal and take it home to butcher myself.  A few evenings worth of YouTube studying gave me the skills to accomplish this and I now have a $80 330# pig in the freezer (~190lbs of meat @ $0.42/lb).  The drive back with a dead pig in the back of my hatchback was interesting, lots of strange looks.

I now have two hams being cured and slowly turning into prosciutto which should be a fun 1-2 yr project.


SunnyDays

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2020, 01:18:21 PM »
Now that's badass!  I'm impressed.

LovinPSDs

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2020, 05:30:53 AM »
This is awesome.. I was thinking about a similar idea, although I was leaning more towards finding a butcher.  Though any version of someone who processes a deer around here would likely be more than capable.

We're plumb out of freezer space right now also though.  The deep freezer went out not that long ago and haven't replaced it.

KCM5

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2020, 06:06:28 AM »
Thatís fantastic!

Did they kill the pig for you or did you do it? Iíve hunted and butchered deer but for some reason thatís where Iím hung up on this whole project. Pigs are like dogs, man! (Iím fairly consistent on this and basically only eat hunted venison and am otherwise a vegetarian)

Also, how much freezer space does 190 lbs of pork take?

nereo

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2020, 09:18:35 AM »
Also, how much freezer space does 190 lbs of pork take?

Wondering this too.

We gave away our chest freezer a few months before the pandemic began.  Now I kinda-wished I had kept it (though not enough to buy a new one, apparently). 

MishMash

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2020, 09:40:59 AM »
man I wish we could find that around here.  I've looked but Fl seems like it's more of a produce and beef state.  I was able to get prime grade brisket for 2.34 a lb the other week.  I bought 4 and ground 2 of them since it was cheaper then the pink slime ground beef.

We've butchered wild boar several times, breaking it down isn't hard, just a bit smelly.  I hope you saved all that glorious pork fat for sausage making!

Goldy

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2020, 12:14:32 PM »
Thatís fantastic!

Did they kill the pig for you or did you do it? Iíve hunted and butchered deer but for some reason thatís where Iím hung up on this whole project. Pigs are like dogs, man! (Iím fairly consistent on this and basically only eat hunted venison and am otherwise a vegetarian)

Also, how much freezer space does 190 lbs of pork take?

The farmer did the dispatching but I suspect that was more for safety than any other reason.  That was the part I was the most concerned about because I didn't want them to suffer due to my inexperience but a single .22 to the noggin was all it took.  I was also really pleased to see that it was extremely quick, they were dead before they hit the ground.  Having spent many years as a vegetarian and my wife dabbling in veganism I shared your concern (we also primarily eat hunted game when we do eat meat).

Goldy

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2020, 12:18:18 PM »

Also, how much freezer space does 190 lbs of pork take?

Not as much space as you would expect honestly.  Granted, I do have about 75lbs of hams curing outside of the freezer but we probably used about 4.5 cubic feet of space, maybe a bit more.  I did tetris it into place and it took my deep freeze about 2 days to freeze it all due to the thermal mass.

fuzzy math

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2020, 11:26:31 PM »
This wins the 2020 most stashe' contest. I'm impressed!! Did you disembowel it at the farm?

GreenEggs

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2020, 07:42:31 AM »
Thumbs up! 




moneypitfeeder

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2020, 05:23:17 PM »
While I don't eat meat, I commend you for not wanting another farm animal to go to waste. You're story reminded me of a story my grandma told me of when she grew up in the Depression. The upstairs rooms in their farm house were cold, they didn't run fires in them, so my g-grandma would cure the pork and hang it in an upstairs room, but it needed a certain length of time before it was cured and safe to eat. A local family would come by every Sunday to play cards and eat dinner with my family (g-grandma didn't turn anyone away), well they stole a bunch of the pork from the upstairs room that wasn't ready yet and all ended up in the hospital, not surprisingly, they never showed up at my grandma's house again. Guess they really weren't there for the friendship. Long story short, I hope those animals keep you and your family well fed and I'm glad they didn't die in vain. {edit to say, also don't eat pork that isn't fully cured :)}
« Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 05:28:53 PM by moneypitfeeder »

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2020, 12:45:05 AM »
Great plan, great use of self-education, and thanks for stepping in to help out the local farmer. Have you been able to get anybody else locally doing the same or splitting a pig?

For those worried about how to fit it all in the freezer, we came up with a trick for that - as you portion it out into .5-3lb blocks for future use, lay those into the freezer's corners, and flip them periodically every time you take a new load to the freezer so the edges freeze into nice squared-off bricks, then move them to the center, layered on racks so the mass is broken up and they freeze to solid faster. They're much easier to stack up and shuffle around later that way than irregular bits, and it makes it easier to line them up on a slicer or under a knife while still semifrozen, too!

surfer349

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2020, 02:18:01 PM »
Anyone know of farms near Boise Idaho?

Fishindude

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2020, 02:44:56 PM »
Congrats on the free pork.
I do the same and butcher a few free hogs every year.   My neighbor has a large hog operation and they occasionally get one that has a minor injury.   Packing houses won't take them, so they give them away or dispose of them.    Just butchered two a couple weeks ago.   Only cost we had in them was some ice to cool the meat, spices for sausage and the vac seal freezer bags.

LWYRUP

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2020, 04:15:28 PM »
This is awesome, I'm impressed.

dividendman

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2020, 05:34:14 PM »
I hate when I'm too dumb to think of stuff like this, nice work.

Goldy

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2020, 07:31:34 PM »
Update

I live in a pretty poor county so I saw an opportunity to help and partnered with our local retired butcher who offered to come out of retirement and process hogs.  We then found a local farmer who was also struggling and purchased his pigs for $50 each (thatís what he wanted).  We then distributed the meat to community members totaling just over 2000 lbs of donated meat.

LWYRUP

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2020, 07:35:21 PM »
Update

I live in a pretty poor county so I saw an opportunity to help and partnered with our local retired butcher who offered to come out of retirement and process hogs.  We then found a local farmer who was also struggling and purchased his pigs for $50 each (thatís what he wanted).  We then distributed the meat to community members totaling just over 2000 lbs of donated meat.

That is really awesome.  Thank you for sharing!!

Dicey

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2020, 01:18:57 PM »
Update

I live in a pretty poor county so I saw an opportunity to help and partnered with our local retired butcher who offered to come out of retirement and process hogs.  We then found a local farmer who was also struggling and purchased his pigs for $50 each (thatís what he wanted).  We then distributed the meat to community members totaling just over 2000 lbs of donated meat.
I'm a 30+ year vegetarian, and I want to say you're a rock star! Thank you for helping people in your community who are struggling.

elaine amj

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2020, 02:11:12 PM »
Update

I live in a pretty poor county so I saw an opportunity to help and partnered with our local retired butcher who offered to come out of retirement and process hogs.  We then found a local farmer who was also struggling and purchased his pigs for $50 each (thatís what he wanted).  We then distributed the meat to community members totaling just over 2000 lbs of donated meat.
That is seriously awesome. You rock!

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Rosy

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2020, 09:08:07 AM »
Absolutely - you rock!

cooking

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2020, 12:16:38 PM »
+1

BicycleB

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Re: Nearly free pigs filling the freezer
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2020, 08:36:08 PM »
Just found this thread. Good stuff, @Goldy!