? about halves and quarters

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Argent Farms, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. Argent Farms

    Argent Farms Pig farmer

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    I have some people interested in purchasing halves and quarters of my pasture raised pigs. Some questions for those of you that sell this way.

    1) What is the typical make-up of cuts included in a 1/4 hog? a 1/2?
    2) How many pounds of processed wrapped meat would half of a 225 lb hog typically provide on average?

    If you folks could answer these for me I'd be much obliged.
     
  2. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to know this too. Also is ham made only from the rear haunch, or is the front ham inferior? Do you compensate the front-quarter person?
     

  3. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    I've never done a 1/4 on a hog, only on beef. What I've always done on the beef, though, is divide everything in fourths and split it up that way. That way no one is getting just a hind quarter or just a front quarter. The only thing you could do on a hog would be to slice the hams in two, and each person who wanted a quarter would get one small ham. You would also need to cut the shoulders in two, or have them put in roasts. Then divide the pork chops, sausage, and everything else in fourths.
     
  4. Charleen

    Charleen www.HarperHillFarm.com Supporter

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    This is pretty much what we've done too, when a buyer only wants 1/4 pig. Take half the pig and divide that up evenly. Someone will get the shoulder ham and someone will get the butt. Bacon, chops, etc can be divided evenly.
     
  5. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I've never heard of 1/4 hog 'deal', but what folks are saying here would work. A friend of mine sold hogs by the half last year - and I think she said, on average it worked out to 65 lbs of meat.......Half hog would result in one pork bellie (bacon or fresh side meat), ribs, two large hams, pork chops (or loin), sausage (type can be chosen - chorizo, breakfast, italian, etc), some roasts. Of course, someone may want the bacon and choose to get ALL the rest ground into sausage - so really - it is up to the individual.

    I get shoulder hams all the time - and I always split my all my hams in half - so eight hams per hog. Another way to do it is get ham slices - instead of a whole or half ham - might be easier to divide that way. I usually get just a few ham slices off of each ham, for ham steaks, or breakfast ham.

    With pigs - so many yummy choices, so little time!

    Niki
     
  6. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    OK I think I understand. I wondered about a deal because there is less meat on the front half, but if you divide it this way it doesn't matter, except that the shoulder ham is smaller. Who makes the ham, sausage and bacon? Does the butcher do that? Or do you give the customers the fresh meat and let them deal with it?

    One thing that worries me is getting the right seasonings. I know how I like bacon and sausage to taste, but I don't know how it gets that taste. There's an ethnic sausage I'd only want made in one community, but I don't know anyone in that community. A local shop has a lousy breakfast sausage, but there is a commercial brand I like very much and would be happy to duplicate. I don't want to get stuck with pounds of stuff I don't like. :help:
     
  7. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I like the sausage our butcher makes, however, because it contains nitrates I started looking for recipes. Tried two - were okay, but not spectacular. A chef friend of mine gave me this one he got out of a book - it is really, really good. I bought the spices, ground them in an electric coffee grinder, put in a ziplock, and gave them to my butcher to use on my order.

    These amounts are for five pounds of sausage - I had to adjust for quite a bit more, but I'm sure you'all can figure out what you need, if I could!

    Five pounds pork
    2TBS salt
    1TBS parsley
    2 TSP coriander
    2 TSP black pepper
    2 TSP thyme
    2 TSP sage
    1 TSP red pepper flakes
    1/4 tsp citric acid

    This is our favorite - all five members of my family 'oohed and aaaahed' when we tried this breakfast sausage for the first time.

    We now cure our own bacon - and I have fresh, frozen hams to try curing/smoking for the first time. We cure our own bacon to avoid nitrates - as I have one child who throws up if he has them. They are only to preserve color anyway, from what I understand. I cut up the pork bellies into slab portions, dash some liquid smoke on them, rub them with salt, and any other spices I'm interested in trying out, and then pack them in a pyrex dish with brown sugar and more salt covering all. Syran wrap and put in fridge for a week, rinse, pat dry and freeze. Sometimes I let it go two weeks, but I move the pieces around (top on bottom into the brine). I cut slices off the slab for frying. My kiddos tried a sample of bacon at the grocery store - 'hickory/apple smoked blah, blah, blah' and couldn't believe how tasteless it was. :dance:

    So - the butcher can take care of the hams, sausage, and bacon for your customers - OR you can! I'd definately advocate trying to do some of your own for yourself- if you like that sort of thing. I was a bit nervous, and am SO glad I did. I was afraid I'd waste six months of effort, ruin my next six month's supply of bacon, but it didn't turn out like that at all. :)

    Niki
     
  8. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the recipes Niki! The sausage sounds good; all I know that's in what I buy (Jones Farm Breakfast links, not the brown n serve) is sage and pepper. How much sausage do you get from one pig, assuming you get the regular chops etc and keep sausage to a minimum.

    Can you cut the frozen bacon? I got an electric meat slicer at a yard sale, yay. When bacon is cured, is it also smolked or is that optional? I want to find a maple cure, being in maple country. Maybe next year I can tap my own trees.:D
     
  9. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure how much sausage I get exactly - a guess would be 12, 15lbs? I usually semi-thaw in the microwave, and then use a sharp knife. Then I wrap and put in the fridge to thaw the rest of the way. If I would plan ahead the night before, I could just transfer from freezer to fridge and not have to impatiently thaw! I really have no trouble slicing the bacon into nice, 'thick' style (if you go by the store bought types) pieces of bacon, until I get to that last slice - where I end up with two rather thicker pieces.

    Also - for butchering - don't forget organ meats, and the left over fat. If your customers don't want that - maybe you would? Or you could use/sell the fat to artisan soap-makers.

    Niki
     
  10. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

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    if my butcher smokes my ham...does that mean it is fully cooked?

    When you do sausage...do you just grind the pork and add the seasoning and divide and wrap it? or is there some curing time etc?
    thanks
     
  11. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I read my last post - the first sentence is about sausage, but all the rest is about bacon. Sorry if I confused anyone.

    I don't know if smoked ham means cooked - I'd like to know the answer to that myself. I always have cooked mine. I've never ground the pork myself - so I send my spice mix to the butcher for him to add to the ground pork. It comes back in those notorious, little, white packages. All of my sausage comes back as fresh - meaning uncooked, no preservatives - and it is frozen.

    Niki
     
  12. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    No, when the slaughterhouse smokes meat it is a cold smoke for flavor only. The meat still has to be cooked.
     
  13. BD

    BD Active Member

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    hi, a 220 pound live weight hog yields 70% and loses about 66 pounds. WHOLE PIG MEAT WEIGHTS: hams about 33 lbs.; loin 24 lbs; the side where bacon and spare ribs come from 25 lbs. the upper shoulder 13lbs; lower shoulder 13 lbs; misc 41lbs, thats hocks, neckbones, trimmings. I got this from a book 20 years ago . the bottom line is you get a total 122lbs. of saleable cuts, 27lbs. of fat trim, and 4 lbs. of bone. So, total carcass weight is 154 lbs.
    Alot depends on feeding program for the amount of backfat on hog along with genitics. I'll try to post a copy of my pork sheet that I use and bresks down some options of cuts . You can get more sausage by grinding the shoulder roasts. If you only grind trimmings you usually get about 5 pounds of sausage. hope this helps, BOB
     
  14. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

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    I asked my butcher about the smoking!

    he says that when he smokes he does all the hams (all sizes) together. He puts the thermometer into a med sized ham so if you have a small-med ham, yes, chances are it will be fully cooked. If you have a larger ham possibly not... since he smokes them all together he cannot legally say that they are fully cooked.

    Our pig was only 240 pounds, so it was one of the smaller ones... so he is confident that it was cooked all the way. He sugar cures... the hams are soo good!
     
  15. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Check out highlands newest blog. http://www.sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/ He does a great job breaking down what a half a hog works out to be. Lots of pictures too.

    Heather
     
  16. Argent Farms

    Argent Farms Pig farmer

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    That is exactly what I was looking for, what a great piece of information! thanks UpNorth and thanks Highlands!
     
  17. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    Coincidentally I just wrote an article about this very topic this week after we took four half pigs to butcher for customers. See this:

    http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2006/07/what-is-half-pig-share.html

    There are photos of the wrapped meat cuts on a table, in a cooler and a cut chart photo as well as a table of weights for the various parts. e.g., 23 pork chops at 1" thick.

    This article was based on a pig that was about 240 lbs so just a little bigger than yours. Still, it will give you an idea.

    Cheers,

    -Walter
     
  18. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    Oops! I didn't read all the replies and just saw that Heather had pointed to the posting too. :) Hope it is useful. If you have any questions, just ask. Be sure to click on the Pork Cut Chart to see a larger version of it with a lot more detail.

    Cheers,

    -Walter
     
  19. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone! This was very helpful. Now I can explain to potential customers.
     
  20. phantompark

    phantompark Well-Known Member

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    We just sent in a pig that had a 190 pound hanging weight.
    This is what came back:
    1 - 8 3/4 pound ham
    8 - 1 pound (or so) of ham steaks
    1 - 2 1/4 pound tenderloin
    13 pounds of bacon
    10 pounds of canadian bacon
    20 pounds of breakfast sausage
    40 pounds of italian sausage
    13 pounds of lard

    This was about 102 pound of meat in the freezer and 13 pounds of lard.

    I couldn't figure out where the rest of the meat was as I was planning on around 130 - 140 pounds of meat. The butcher explained I had most of the pork boned out so there was less weight. About 50% loss.
    A "standard" cut with pork chops, roasts, more hams, ribs ect. would have been closer to 30% loss (from the hanging weight) and more like the 140 pounds I was estimating.

    We had alot of shrinkage in the smoking also, like 15 pounds, plus when it is sliced there is some loss to scraps and the skin on the bacon that is removed after smoking.

    This was our "summer" pork,so I had everything done for quick easy cooking. Now I know to keep the chops ect...
    And good info to advise costomers on.