We are taking our two pigs into the butcher in less than a week. After taping them today, we got weights of 230 and 286 lbs. I dont know how accurate that method is. I think we are going to keep the larger pig for ourselves.
The other one we are debating on selling 1/2 or 1/4's. We arent really out to make money, just try and recoup some of the costs of raising them. These were our first pigs and were expensive to raise due to wasted feed and mistakes. My brother may buy half. and the rest my go to people at my wifes work.
Right now, we have around $300 into that 230 lb pig. The butcher is charging $24 kill fee and .44/lbs rail weight for processing not counting extras like smoking, etc.
Im not really sure what to do here. I am figuring on losing some money, but it was a learning experience. Im kind of lost on how to sell this thing. Any help would be great. Also, how much room in a chest freezer will a 290lbs pig take up once cut and wrapped?
Yes, you'll end up taking a bit of a loss on the smaller pig. Chalk it up to the learning curve and call it a well earned education. You will be able to offset the total cost of your schooling though, so it's not a total loss. Sell him by the pound with the buyer paying for the processor and you can keep your overall loss to the minimum.
As for the larger of the two, he should easily fit in an 8cf freezer. I wouldn't try anything smaller. I just packed 700+ pounds of hanging weight pork into a 20cf chest freezer with a little room to spare. Better to have too big of a freezer than too small.
How to charge for a half or whole pig? We also have 2 to go to the butcher and will keep one. When I bought meat from a neighbor, he paid all the kill, cut, cure and wrap fees and charged me rate per pound of cut weigth. If I do it this way, how do I guess best $ per pound?
Don't figure on losing money. That's prime meat. You should sell it and make a profit. We charge $3.50/lb hanging weight for whole pigs and $4.50/lb hanging weight for half pigs. That is delivered to the butcher. The customer pays for slaughter and any processing they want. Our butcher charges $35 for the kill and $0.65/lb hanging for the cutting and wrapping.
By the way, a cubic-foot of pig is about 35 to 50 lbs depending on how tightly it is packed. e.g., ground packed prior to freezing packs much tighter than hams, ribs, etc.
Ask the butcher for everything, all the bones, head, tail, jowl, lard, feet, etc. It's all good eating and makes up a significant portion of the pig.
We recently purchased 1/2 a hog from one of the area butchers who works with the 4H auctions at our County Fairs. We never saw the hog prior to slaughter, we just know it came from a 4H auction at a neighboring County's fair. He charged us $2.59 per lb for the 'receiving' weight of 102lbs.
We took home about 75 lbs of finished meat. That's $3.50ish per pound of meat in our freezer. For Northern CA - that's a great price, no matter where you buy pork around here - and it's some of the best pork we've had in a long time!
I think if you offer what is a fair market price, for a well cared for - home grown hog, your family and friends won't bat an eye at your price. Don't sell your efforts short!
I charged $1.80 per pound hanging weight this year. I figured that would give my customers meat at a price roughly comparable to the supermarket but at much better quality. I wanted to get my own pig free, including processing. Everything else was considered gravy. I made enough to cover a bit of the overhead as well.
Well, tomorrow morning is it. We have both extra halves sold. We were just looking to try and cover expenses. Basically, I needed $175 per half and then they pay for butchering. Not sure what that worked out to per lbs, will figure it out after getting the weights from the processor.
We already have them loaded up in the trailer for tomorrow morning. they climbed right in when we put their feed inside. Just went out and checked and they are asleep side by side. My kids have said their goodbyes. Its slightly sad, but we will enjoy not having to go out and feed them every night. Once they are this big, the little nudges and nibbling on your shoes isnt quite as cute, lol.
Once everything is done, Ill make a post with all the different weights and prices.
Well, dropped them off this morning. He weighs them live and they weighed in at 245 and 316 lbs! When we taped them a week ago we came up with 230 and 280, so we were off on the big one. He said that our big one was perfect, one of the best pigs he's seen. So, cant wait to get everything back. Once I get everything, Ill make another post with weights, costs and how much meat we actually got back.
If the weights a week ago was 230 and 280 lbs by the tape and the butcher shows them to be 245 and 316 lbs live weight now then the tape was about dead on accurate. A pig can grow a lot in a weight. The tape was within just a couple of percentage points of correct.
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Havent gotten the totals for processing as it will not be ready until the end of the week, but did find out the hanging weight.
The 316 pig had a hanging weight of 215
The 245 pig had a hanging weight of 165
So that works out to 67% of live weight. Im not sure if he calculates hanging weight with head on or off. Im guessing off though since the percentage is low. Will update with actual weight of total cuts after I get them.
I just read this thread for the first time. What struck me right at the beginning is your approach should be adjusted slightly so as to acheive break even or better.
Next time sell the larger pig and keep the whole smaller pig for your own family. Your income for charging with an increased hanging weight helps offset any cost of raising the smaller pig. Then because you now have less pork you can go thru it quicker and start the cycle all over again.
We really love the bacon from your own pig.... ;-)
Im curious how some of you market your pigs. We're thinking of raising 2-3, hopefully to sell 2 to pay for the one we keep. Do you advertise in the paper, take them to auction, or what. Not sure if I can depend on much help from friends and family.
Skip- yes the processing costs I listed are the total bill out the doors including smoking bacon, hams, sausage, cut wrapped, kill, everything.
freeranger- The bigger one was the one we planned on keeping from the start. Its just the one we picked.
We werent really trying to make money or get free pork. In fact, what we sold the second pig for will cover pretty much exactly one half of all costs for both pigs. So, basically we sodl it for what we had in it. The halves from that pig went to two different family members. We are really just doing the pigs for the experience. I think the meat will end up being about the same cost per lbs as what you can buy it for in the store. But, we know what went into ours and they had a good life.
We will probably do this again next year, pigs are fun.
Should be picking up the meat either today or tomorrow. Will post weights of yield then.
I have a method that may work for you. It is set up so you don't get "stuck" with unsold pigs.
Word of mouth to everyone you know, work with, related to, etc. Ask the mailman and the guy at the Quicky Lube, anyone. Collect a $50 deposit from everyone. Insist that you need the money to buy the pigs you intend on raising.
Buy the pigs (even better if you have some of your own). If the Feed Mill will run you a 6 month line of credit, all the better.
Raise the pigs. Haul to slaughter. Around here, there isn't a slaughter plant nearby, so a guy has a small business of killing livestock and getting them to the "hanging sides" stage. Then they get hauled to butcher. Find out ahead of time what's available in your area. You don't want to be processing ten hogs yourself.
Get the hanging weight totals. Use this total to figure your costs: feed, fencing repairs, time, etc. Divide your costs by the total hanging weighs. This is your cost per pound.
Charge your buyers the above costs. They pay the butcher for the cut and wrap, because there is a difference depending on how much meat they choose to have smoked. Take each pigs weight slip, add the owner's name and calculate their cost to you (weight times the cost you figured).
There are always those that say they just can't come up with the money, but since you already have their $50 deposit, rarely will someone fail to pay and lose their deposit. This is why the deposit is so important.