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Hey Nan!
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I was given a 2 or 3 yr old sow that weighs approximately 500 lbs. Old pet, never bred, fed food scraps and grain. I realize it probably has a lot of fat on it but would the meat still be worth the time and effort to butcher and process?

Thank you
Bigfoot
 

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I have heard its illegal to sell pork that has been fed table scraps (don't know if its true or not) but sounds like she would be fine for food to me if you wanted to eat her. Great idea on the sausage. Ground pork of any kind is always good with older or questionable animals. Aught to save that fat and render it to lard for soap too :wink:
 

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Last summer I had 6 large hogs butchered and put in the freezers. One of those was a 6 yo sow and another was a 4yo boar. They were both processed into the usual cuts and I can tell no difference in taste, texture or flavor between them and the younger hogs that were processed. The only discernible difference is the cuts are larger.
 

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I had two sows that I had planned on using for brood sows.

Plans didn't work out and when they started getting loose, I had to make a decision. So, I called the butcher.

I can't remember how old they were but, between the two of them, there was over seven hundred pounds of hanging weight.

Because I had had them for a long time and had pretty much made pets out of them, I decided I didn't want to eat the meat myself, so I decided to sell it. When I sent them in, I told the butcher to turn it all into sausage. He called me on the day they were cutting them and said it all looked like really nice meat and maybe I'd want to re-think it. I talked to my buyers and they all decided to do standard cuts.

Everybody was extremely happy.

These pigs were fed well, with a commercial mix and occasional table scraps (leftover pancakes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, stuff like that - really no junk).

A couple of years later, I went to work for a different local butcher as a meat wrapper and we often processed very large hogs into standard cuts.

Janis
 

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I butchered a sow six months ago that weighed just over 800lbs hanging weight.

I kept the center cut pork chops and turned the rest into sausage.

She tasted delicious.

Pete
 

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We had a 6 year old sow done before Christmas and the next time I will put it all into sausage. Unlike yours, she had been a breeding sow and that will count for something too. Although she was in excellent condition and had plenty of fat, the meat was coarser and drier. The taste was a little stronger too but not unpleasantly so and I would have expected that from an older animal of any sort. We had it turned into bacon, ham, mince, sausage and pickled pork and all of it needs to be cooked slowly. The best so far has been the pickled pork which was cooked in a hangi - a Moari method of cooking involving steam and slow cooking - and it was beautiful.

At 2 years old and never been bred or stressed in any way, I would think that yours will make for some good eating.

Cheers,
Ronnie
 

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The question implied they would do the project themselves, and I would suggest that as soon as the meat was well cooled to try a batch of chops and determine then what the rest of the cutting plan would be.

If sending to a shop talk to the guy, he can tell you a lot when he gets her appart. Anyway, have the bacons done, and the ribs.... I cant imagine a pig so bad that suckin on rib bones would not be an excellent afternoons occupation!

Good luck and grease dripping good eats!

MAsteveINE
 
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