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Pigs Come Roll in the Mud with Us!

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Old 11/18/09, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the flat land of Illinois
Posts: 4,662
butchering question - amt of fat/lard per pig

How much back fat and how much leaf fat (internal fat) do you think you would get, on average, from your average 250 lb live weight pig? The pigs were pastured and then pen/grain finished for the final month.

I understand that pigs differ - looking for a ballpark figure. What you might expect to get back from a butcher, to be clear.

Here's why I am asking: took 2-250 lbs pigs to the butcher, asked for the leaf lard from both and the back fat from both. What did I get? 1-8 lb package, total. That breaks down to 4 lbs of leaf fat and 4 lbs of back fat for 2 whole pigs.

The butcher swears that was it. I swear it cannot be it. Sounds like one pig and then maybe only part of the fat from one pig but heck, let's be generous and call it one pig.

What do you think? this butcher, btw, tends to mess up every single order ever brought to them by anyone I've ever known, including me. Why do we return? They are a mere 4 miles from our house - the next closest is 125 miles round trip. We've taken on butchering our own sheep, goats, rabbits & poultry to avoid them - might add hogs to our 'do it yourself' list pretty darn soon.

Be honest. If I am wrong I'd lke to know.

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Old 11/18/09, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern Tier, NY
Posts: 104
Like you said, it depends on the pig. It also depends on how much sausage you have made. If the pigs were lean, the butcher would have added some of the fat to the sausage.

I had a 240# (estimated) gilt butchered by a slaughterhouse this fall. She looked great on the hoof. We got back 2 bags of fat, cut up into fairly large chunks, and frozen. A total of 3 gals I'd say. I did not weigh it.

We butchered a barrow here, one of the gilt's littermates, who weighed the same. There wasn't enough fat on him to speak of.

The gilt and barrow were raised together.

I encourage you to butcher your own. Pigs are easy to do.
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Old 11/18/09, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the flat land of Illinois
Posts: 4,662
no sausage made at all.... so ALL the fat should have come back. For 2 hogs it certainly seems like it should have been, at a minimum, double what we got. We had the pork cut into primal cuts by the butcher, just had them finish/smoke the bacon and one leg. Was stunned to pay .60/lb cut/wrap on every pound of the primal cut.... they had to do zippo work.

We are hoping to raise our own pork/butcher it next summer - excess of milk to use up. Not this winter! I am not hauling water to the pasture.... I am not.
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Old 11/18/09, 06:12 PM
Cyngbaeld's Avatar
In Remembrance
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SE Missouri
Posts: 28,248
I butchered a sow that was around 400# and there was practically no leaf lard. Most of the fat was a pretty even layer under the skin and not that thick, considering her size. I think the male will have more on him. He is rounder and not as active as the sow. Just have to get round to doing him.

Butchering is a lot of work, but I put so much into my pigs that I didn't want to trust someone else to finish the job. This way I know that the pig was done right and I got everything back. I feed the skin cut up into chunks, to my dogs.
I believe in God's willingness to heal.

Cyngbaeld's Keep Heritage Farm, breeding a variety of historical birds and LaMancha goats. (It is pronounced King Bold.)
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Old 11/18/09, 07:25 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Zone 7
Posts: 10,837
I got 8 pints of lard from the leaf fat of one hog. I have no idea of the weight of the lard however.
If they can do it,
you know you can!
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Old 11/18/09, 11:55 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 339
Pork fat is used to add fat content in various products - sausage and game meat, for instance. It might be that some of yours got used up by the shop for other purposes.

You should be getting a 75% yield from the hanging weight. So if you think your shop is shorting you, weigh all of the packages they deliver you. If it's substantially different than 75% of the hanging weight, I'd suspect you're being ripped off.

Next time they do a farm slaughter, look at the thickness of the back fat when they split the carcass. Two pigs that I slaughtered this summer had back fat that was 1" thick, and I ended up with 60lbs of fat/48lbs of rendered lard. I wrote up the rendering process here on my blog.

If you're interested in lard, keep feeding your pigs until there's no dimple at the base of their tail, and their back is round, with no backbone visible. That's 2-3" of back fat, and will render out a years supply for your needs. Takes an extra month or so, and another 300lbs of food = ~$80 additional cost.
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