eating a big sow?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Anderson farms, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Anderson farms

    Anderson farms Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    287
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2007
    Location:
    northern Missouri
    Are big sows any good to eat? I am talking 400 to 600 pounds? Just wondered Have a couple of friends who want to grind one up and make sausage,brats,pork burger etc. They will buy a bred sow let me farrow it and wean the piglets and then the get the sow and I get the pigs? What do you guys think? Or they want me to raise one up that big for them.
     
  2. Rogo

    Rogo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,242
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    I haven't done it yet, but I would. We all have different tastes. To me, sausage, HAMburger, anything ground up except what I need for HAMburger type meals, is a waste. I prefer steaks, roasts, chops, ribs.

    The fat is what makes meat tasty. Lean meat is tasteless to me. If there's too much, cut off what you don't want to eat. Make lard, use it for something else, or throw it out!

    I tend to want to see for myself instead of believing what I hear! :eek:)
     

  3. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,332
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Location:
    Idaho
    We were given a 900 pound sow a few years back. Skinned her and she had the meat of about a 450 pounder under all the fat. The meat tasted great and was no different from our regular weight hogs.

    We often wait to butcher ours until they get up around 350-400.
     
  4. Trisha-MN

    Trisha-MN www.BilriteFarms.com

    Messages:
    345
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    We just butchered a big sow. I had thought to grind all for sausage but the butcher said it looked good and he'd do chops/roasts so that is what we did.
    They taste fine and it is kind funny, some of chops look more like small beef steaks sitting on the plate - fine with me since I like pork. She wasn't huge though, I'd guess about 400 lbs.
     
  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    Messages:
    10,837
    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    I had rather have sausage from an older hog as IMO it has more flavor. Hams from a big hog are better in that you have a much larger area where the best cuts reside. Proper trimming of fat is essential as well as knowledge as to how much fat can be included in the sausage. There certainly is nothing wrong with the big loins either!
     
  6. buspete

    buspete Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    456
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    A big old sow will give you monstrous big chops! One chop is a whole meal for a person.

    There is a stronger taste with an older animal, but I like it that way.

    You'll also end up with hams big enough to feed an army.
     
  7. Feathers-N-Fur

    Feathers-N-Fur Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    474
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Oregon
    We prefer pork from the larger pigs. We just butchered a 400 lb gilt who couldn't get pregnant. She wasn't fat and the ham was great. We have the butcher take ham steaks out of the hams so they aren't so huge.
     
  8. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,935
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    We've butchered two large sows like that, over 500 pounds each, and did the work ourselves. The meat has been just fine. More fat, of course, but I rendered that and put it away, just in case... They are usually less expensive than the 230 pounders, too. Jan in Co
     
  9. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,001
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Location:
    Austin-ish, Texas
    So glad to see this thread! We are planning to take a large sow (approx. 500 lbs) in for processing next week. We have intentionally fattened her up in the hopes of getting lots and lots of bacon. Are there any cuts we should avoid because of the potential "gameyness" of the meat? She is approx 3 years old.
     
  10. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

    Messages:
    5,327
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2004
    Location:
    NC Arkansas
    We butchered a sow that dressed out at about 450 #. Less fat than we had thought on the meat, and the chops and shoulder steaks were HUGE! We had one shoulder left whole. Here's DH putting a rub on before the big BBQ:

    [​IMG]

    You should have seen the HAMS! We wouldn't do that again, though. Best butcher weight is around 240# or so.
     
  11. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

    Messages:
    5,327
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2004
    Location:
    NC Arkansas
    There was no gameyness in Stella (the sow pictured above). The bacon, sausage, and hog jowls are my favorite part of ANY pig! YUM!
     
  12. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,001
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Location:
    Austin-ish, Texas
    Thanks for the response. I think I'll go ahead and get some regular cuts in addition to the sausage and bacon.
     
  13. Mountain Mick

    Mountain Mick Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    615
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Location:
    Baree, Mount Morgan, Queensland Australia
    Hi we have got a few really big sow slaughtered and what I do is I cure the legs ham of the bone [that boned out], and I leave the loin on the back bone and cure and smoked . once cured I cut the loin up on the band-saw and call them bacon chops and our family and friends love them on the BBQ of for Breakfast of instead of pork chops for dinner. and the bone out hams and great as cold cuts.
     
  14. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,534
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    Mountains of Vermont, Zone 3
    We have eaten several large (>600 lb) sows as well as two uncut sexually active boars who were a lot bigger than that. We just did one of the boars this week. He was delicious. We had sirloin cutlets from him for dinner last night - tasty! He had huge cuts and amazing shoulders.

    One of the sows (Little Pig) we experimented with hanging the meat for a week. She was older. Dry aging / hanging did tenderize the meat just as it does with sheep and cattle. She was the oldest at four years of age. The others I didn't hang at all and they were fine.

    http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2007/08/hanging-around.html
    http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2007/02/little-pigs-tale.html

    All that said, this particular boar of last week is mostly going into making two batches of hot dogs. Not that there is anything wrong with the meat - we simply are out of hot dogs and need to make another couple of batches. They should be back from the smoke house in about a week or so. Good thing as we're out of the last batch.

    Cheers

    -Walter
    Sugar Mountain Farm
    in the mountains of Vermont
    http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/
    http://HollyGraphicArt.com/
    http://NoNAIS.org