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My 20 year highschool reunion is this weekend. One classmate donated a hog to cook. I volenteered to butcher it.

When we raise pigs for ourselves we feed them all they can eat corn/soybean mix, and water. They grow fast, and their bodyfat is very firm. All the years since I was a kid we have....Well, not we, dad always fed them this same way. Dad paid the bill, I just helped with the labor. I guess mabye IM just used to the smell, and taste of corn fed pork. Ive heard some people arrogently say that if they wanted something corn fed they would buy beef.

This hog didnt smell meaty to me when we opened it up. Its guts smelled like fresh cut lawn. The smell wasnt very appealing. I didnt think so anyway. The corn fed hogs dad raises smell like meat when we open them up. I found out that the guy who raised it fed it some commercial hog pellet. Now Im not going to give my normal condesending responce, but I dont like the idea of feeding any animal any kind of pellet. I dont know what is in a pellet, and I dont trust labels. I want the animals I eat to either be pastured, or fed ground corn, or both.

So, has anyone els, who raises, and/or butchers their own food, ever noticed a different smell, or taste in meat, then found out the animal was fed something different?
 

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This is absolutely true! We fed the chickens corn so they would have a nice color to the meat. The fat was yellow!

We fed the butcher calf corn and sweet feed. Not pellets. I think they sweep the floor to make pellets at the feed mills. :grump:
 
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Rose said:
This is absolutely true! We fed the chickens corn so they would have a nice color to the meat. The fat was yellow!

We fed the butcher calf corn and sweet feed. Not pellets. I think they sweep the floor to make pellets at the feed mills. :grump:
do you think yellow fat is good, or bad?

I guess I never considered fat color. The fat in our pigs, and cows is normally white to very light yellow. Our chickens most always have yellow fat.

I just noticed the flavor of the meat that we raise, and butcher ourselves VS the occasional burger, or piece of bacon I eat from a resturant. They just dont taste meaty. They taste...I dunno..."meaty light "
 

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I use to be a taste tester for a poultry research lab. The chickens were fed a variety of diets and there was definitely a different taste depending on the feed.

One of the most interesting tastes was that where the chickens had been fed a diet rich in okra. The meat tasted like okra!
 

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My neighbor told me of a time she went with friends to a very expensive restuarant that served a lot of fish, now my neighbor does not eat fish in any shape or form. She orderd the local raised pork chops...they tasted like fish. When she questioned the waiter he told her that the pigs get the scraps from the restaurant and yes there was always a lot of fish in the slop.
 

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One of the tricks the old timers used in feeding their pigs, was to feed them the excess apples in the fall. This sweetened the meat. Corn does turn chicken fat yellow. It is not an indicator of health, simply an indicator of corn. My poultry get grain during the winter, then very little grain in the summer. They get oats, corn, sunflower seeds, wheat, and sometimes soy.
 

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i feed mine 16% grower ration free choice grass (rotate the pen), eggs and apples when i have them and any scraps from our dinner...ie.. pasta, left over bread, veggies etc... i think they are happier and grow better with diversity in their diet.
 

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We feed our hogs, cracked corn, table & garden scraps, plus surplus milk. We plant extra things like squash and pumpkins for them. They also get lots of green stuff from their pasture. Around August they start getting peach scraps, and in the fall they get lots of apples. It does make for really delicious meat. Yes, when we cut into it, it does smell like real meat.

We had an extra hog to get rid of and a butcher bought it. He called and raved it was the nicest looking pork had ever seen. He wanted to arrange to buy from us in the future.

A neighbor of ours, tried home raised chicken, another neighbor had raised. They could not believe it. They said it was delicious and actually meat, not mushy. Plus it didn't have pockets of fat going all through it.

We don't necessarily raise our own food for the savings, we raise it so that we know what is in it, and for superior taste and quality. Pretty much the same as the rest of you folks.
 

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gracie88
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In cattle, grass fed animals have yellow fat due to a higher concentration of vit. A in their diet. Fresh grass is much higher in vit. A than hay so you do not see as much yellow fat in animals fed hay or pellets. I assume this would hold true with other animals too; those with more fresh food in their diet having more color in their fat.
 

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If you've raised much meat for the freezer, you definitely know that feed affects taste. However....it's what you finish an animal on, and how long you finish it.

For something that doesn't severely taint the taste, such as a protein pellet, a couple to three weeks on corn finishes out a beef or a hog quite well. Something like fish or fish guts, takes a lot longer to "flush" from the meat of a hog....I wouldn't touch one with a ten foot pole that hadn't been finished out for at least 6 weeks to 2 months...
 

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Corn wasn't all we fed them, but corn does make the fat yellow as well as the yolks of eggs brighter.

Yes, we like it that way.

Store bought chickens with their pale fat look malnourished.
 
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