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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Think of all the stuff you could possibly need while butchering a hog. Think big hog. Not sure of the weight, but here's my problem. I want and would butcher a hog, if ours were ready. However, today we got a call from a friend, the one who we are getting the free feed from, just for coming and emptying out his bins?

Well, he has a free hog, only it has to be butchered now. Hubby says oh, I wish we could, however, we don't have the stuff we need to do that.

When he hung up, I asked him if he was crazy? All that meat????

He said no, we don't have any place to hang it or any water source as it is so cold outside.

Okay, given the fact that it IS below freezing out there, this is the only point I understand.

From my point of view, I would have that hog on the ground, skinning it and gutting it, and I'd bring chunks of it into the house, properly cut up or not, and put it in the freezer.

That being said, this time, I am having to work till nearly midnight, and he is (I think) reluctant to take on a hog by himself. I told him if I wasn't working I'd be taking this hog. Anyway, I forgave him, but I want there to be no excuses from this point forward.

I am going to start gathering in every little piece of equipment we might possibly need, or I might possibly need, and I am going to take the next hog that is offered. I can't stand this! :grit:

Okay, done with my rant, now help me with the list everyone!

Valorie
 

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Valorie,

I'm on your side. In fact, I believe this is the traditional time of the year for butchering hogs - at least is was for my folks.

We butcher hogs at our place ALL the time. You need a rope, sharp knife and a gun. The gun to send him on his way, the rope to hang him up with and a knift to cut him up with.

Since it is so cold, I would gut it, skin it and quarter it and put it on in the freezer for later processing. It is easier if you have a helper, but depending on the size of the hog, you should be able to do it by yourself.

Rhnea
 

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Master Of My Domain
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that is all you really need to get the basic use. all of the other stuff...kettles, meat grinders, sausage stuffers etc. are all to make use of as much of the hog as possible. killing, gutting and chopping a hog could be as simple as doing the same with a deer.
 

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agmantoo
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Forget about being efficient for this single slaughter. Kill the animal and bleed it. Immediately hoist it by the upper jaw over a limb, rafter or any other structure using a rope or chain and a vehicle. Wash the hog with buckets of water and a stick broom while the body heat remains. Cut off the feet with a handsaw, Remove the shoulders and the hams while it hangs. Remove the loins. All that is needed is a sharp knife. Take all this in the house and leave the animal hanging. Let the rest freeze. Work up the meat in the house where it is warm. You can later go back and salvage whatever you want from the carcass. Where the idea came from that you have to gut an animal I do not know. If you want organ meat just cut into the cavity and get what you want leaving the rest. Yes, you are going to waste some of the meat but you will have rendered the more desirable cuts and it was free. Scavengers have to live also, just share the bounty. This effort will take less than 30 minutes outside.
 

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The only thing that all the other posters mised was getting the hair off. I usualy do this by dunking it in a hot water then hang and scrape the hair off. You can do this by useing a hoe or a knife. What i use is a 55 galionn barrell and tilting it about 45% and building a fire under it so that it will boil hair off then scrape it. There is nothing like geting hair in your bacon or ham.
 

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agmantoo
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When the animal is taken inside the home put the flesh side down and cut the outer skin with the hair off in strips. It would be a simple task and would be clean provided you always work from the exposed side of the area just stripped of skin and hair. Remember, you washed the hog before starting. You would be essentially peeling the animal.
 

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you could first find someone that will butcher it on the halves with you,,,you can learn from them and see the equipment they use....my son an i use to butcher hogs on the half for a farmer....he would tell use which one and he would leave.....i would shoot with a .22 rifle in the head drawing an x from eyes to ears........then would stick it just above breastbone trying for the heart.......we would load and bring to house where we had a gambrel and pulley system used for our deer... we would skin with box cutters,sometimes stripping the back and using pliers to pull skin off..we adjusted boxcutter blade out about 1/4 inch and two inch wide strips,,we would skin the front thr regular way. we gut like a deer saving heart, liver, cut off the head and cut down the middle,we would put the farmers half in his freezer for him.
we would then cool ours outside if cold enough. otherwise work it up.... we rendered the lard,,,,we cut everthing from the bone for more freezer space...

you can put up in slices,or chunk,freeze or can.....

we would save lots of innards for dog food and the feet also,,,we gave the heads to a person that would then skin the head and all that. took us less than an hour to his freezer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This hog has something wrong with it, probably a broken leg. This guy raises hogs, not organic, but on nonmedicated feed. Anyway, whatever is wrong he said the hog needed butchered right away (I didn't talk to him so I didn't get to ask).

Anyway, we are going to let this one slide by, because as I said, I have to work till midnight tonight and tomorrow night, and we're going to be out of town on Saturday night, and be back late on Sunday.

Ross, my house guests never finally came. Just before they were coming here, they were offered a house near where they were, so it saved all of us. There was going to be a bit of a defugalty anyway, cause she wanted her dog and I told her she couldn't bring it in the house (it was a boxer). Now I have nothing against boxers, in fact I really like them, but I have just too small of a house for that size of a dog.

Anyway, some friends offered their family a trailer, and that just worked out good for all of us. I get to keep the friendship of my niece and the freedom of my house.

Back to the hog, it would have fed my husband and I and our farm workers here for all winter long, along with the other stuff we have. However, sigh, I am letting this one go. I did tell my husband the next time he calls with one, I WILL rearrange my schedule and I will deal with that pig myself other than he will have to shoot it, and I am going to be learning that as well.

My husband is really basically a city man. He is not, I'm getting the idea, real interested in doing all this butchering. However, I also grew up in a city, but my mother taught me basic cleaning of chickens, rabbits, squirrels, *****, any meat someone would bring us. It was just she and I and she never could kill them. I have made that step, so I can kill the chickens and rabbits (thanks to Pony), and I am thanks to Ozark Jewels, gonna butcher goats this spring when my babies get big enough.

I'm finding myself to be a little confused about how to deal with my husband's lack of interest in animals for food, but still wanting to live on the farm. He's willing to help with the feed we are being given. He doesn't mind my having some of these critters although we have lowered the number we had last year.

I'm just in a quandry here about all of this, and confused.

Anyway, been studying Michigan Farmer's post today, before this call came, about butchering a calf and I went and looked at the pictures of how he did his. Now come spring I'm going to have 3 nice hogs that I will be butchering and at this point I am assuming I'm going to be doing that thorny task by myself, but I WILL do it, and I am going to be ready.

I'm going to get a T post to hang these critters from. That seems the best thing. I figure I can cut the tendons in the back legs and hang it on that and tie a rope to that and hang it up in our corn crib. I'll tie the rope to the pickup and up goes the hog.

Okay, gotta get back to work, but I want to thank everyone for their help with this. And, just so you know, I don't think less of my husband for this, and hope no one else does either. He's just your basic city slicker and at nearly 71, he can't quite get his mind around all this. I'm 49, I can.
 

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Think of all the stuff you could possibly need while butchering a hog.
It doesn't take much.

Need:
Good knife
Steel to re-edge knife
Bucket of warm water
Bucket for offal - might need two depending on hog size
Bucket for organs - heart, kidneys, liver, etc - that you want to save
Hammer to knock hog unconscious OR .22 gun to kill hog
Chain to hang with.
Means to raise hog for hanging to bleed. (Tractor, block & tackle, strong muscles)
A place to hang the carcass to chill.

Also nice:
Stone plus oil for sharpening knife
Second knife
Bone saw (~$25 at Northern Equipment and elsewhere)

Optional if you want to scald & scrape instead of skinning:
Source of hot water
Large tank (drum, bathtub, etc)
Table

If this is your first time I would suggest skinning. You'll likely do a poor job of the skinning but that's okay as scalding is more complicated so leave it for another time. Take your time. Try and not cut muscle at all when skinning. This is especially an issue on the bacon.

It will take you a long time. Plan on this being the only task for the day. Have help. Take breaks.

Cheers

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

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we have done about 14 wild hogs since sept. this is our set up, we have a boat winch nailed to a tree the cable goes up to a pulley screwed to a double 2x6 nailed between two trees. the cable has a hook at the end, we wrap the cable around hogs neck hook it on to its self winch hog up wash off. skin with good knives. drop buts into gut barrel (about bottom two feet of 50 gal. drum. cut off feet with a sawzall cut off shoulders and hams split backbone in two put in cooler of ice or hang in old fridge if its empty. cut up meat in two or three days we have a grinder to make sausage with and a cuber attachment to cube with. seal in vac seal bags for the freezer.
 
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