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Country Discussion Topics
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A few questions on butchering hogs
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SteveB    Posted 02-21-2003 at 04:38:45       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I will be doing a hog roast in a couple of weeks and it seems the only local slaughter house that had a scalder has gone out of business. So I get to set up a scalder and buther the thing my self. Was planning on using a 55 gallon drum. How hot should the water be and how long do I let him soak? The pig will be about 110 lbs.

I have butchered quite a few hogs in the past and shooting and sticking them is always the worst of the job. Seems it always takes more than 1 shot to put the hog down and as I've never seen it done the right way I cut him from ear to ear to get him to bleed out. Is there a cleaner way to "stick" him so as to not make such a mess out of him?

As for putting him down, I thought about trying electrocution. If I clamp a wire to each ear and run 110V at 30A to it will this be enough to put him down or will it just make him mad?


Jimbob    Posted 02-22-2003 at 06:32:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
12o volts would only anger the pig & both of you may get injured. It would take thousands of volts & if mishandled could kill both of you.


Linda    Posted 02-22-2003 at 01:52:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Definitely don't attempt to electrocute him. You'll damage the meat. Electricity follows moisture and burns flesh. You'll ruin a lot of meat that way, and no telling if you will survive the attempt.

Our mobile butcher shoots the hog with a .22 rifle, then sticks the jugular & hoists it up by the back legs with a winch to bleed out. Quick and clean.


Walt    Posted 02-21-2003 at 07:57:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Use a tractor with a front end loader, loop their back leg, lift them and stick them, artery is just on the side of the throat, push point toward ear and twist, let bleed out, should be a good flow. Water should be around 180 degrees, any hotter colder, you will set the hair. I used a 55 gal drum for a hog that was almost 600 pds that we butchered in the fall. I would only dip a 100 pd hog for 30 secs at a time, front end loader is best if you have one, when you take it out of the water jump on it with the scapers, faster the better, if you do not have a front end loader, you can do it by hand, lay on plywood to scrape, you can also use burlap bags dipped in hot water to help, be careful not to get the water too hot. When you gut it, do not cut into the large intestines and tie the bung shut with a piece of string until you get everything out. Good luck!


screaminghollow    Posted 02-21-2003 at 06:33:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I've only helped butcher hogs twice, but last time, the family I was with almost got in a feud because someone scalded the hog too long and the skin started coming off. As I recollect, the pig was dunked in the water and rolled around for only about 45 seconds per side. It sure made a difference on how the hair came off.


Burlgoat    Posted 02-21-2003 at 06:23:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
Steve...On your hog killin' and butherin' shoot the hog between the eyes and up about 3/4". As far as stickin' him, stick him in the heart and twist the knife and let him bleed good. On scalding, get the water nearly boiling...180 to 200 degrees...have your barrel tilted about a 30 degree angle...grab his hind feet, put him in head first, slosh him around, pull him out, turn him around and repeat. Pull him out, place him on plywood and scrape him. If spots of hair don't come off, lay a burlap sack over him and pour hot water over him. Hang him up, gut him, and butcher for good eating.
If you have a front end loader on your tractor, it sure does help on hanging him to gut him...
Good luck...hope it works out for you.
SEND FOOD.......


Gary, Mt Hermon, La    Posted 02-21-2003 at 05:58:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
Steve, a 55 gallon drum would do fine, I believe the water should be about 180 degrees, (someone correct me if I'm wrong, it''s been a long time, I just skin them like cattle now) After you dip the hog if it doesn't scrape well,then lay some burlap sacks on him and pour hot water over the sacks and let soak till it scrapes easily;.Dont let it go too long or you 'll cook the hair in and will have a very hard time getting it off. If you can pull it loose with you fingers, it's just right.

About sticking the hog you don't need to cut it from ear to ear. In the neck down along a line from where the ear begins, stick it there and twist a very zharp knive in towards the esophogus twisting it juzt enough to cut the artery, similar to the carotiod artery in your own neck. There will be no doubt if you hit it or not, the blood will come gushing out if done properly.

Yall have a real nice time at your pig roasting, sounds like fun.


Steve    Posted 02-21-2003 at 06:48:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Why doesn't everybody skin them, it seems to me that that would be far easier. Is there some reason to keep the skin? That's the way I do my chickens. We eat mostly skinless chicken anyway, so I just pluck a few feathers from the breasts to locate the skin and then pull the whole skin feathers and all off.


Cindi    Posted 02-21-2003 at 06:49:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well I botched that post! Looks like you're talking to your self! What a dope. Sorry about that.


Cindi    Posted 02-21-2003 at 06:52:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well, CRUD! I'm going back to bed. I can't do anything right. My question that looks like it's from Steve but is really from me about skinning was supposed to be directed to Gary. If anyone can make any sense out of it, I am still wondering.


SteveB    Posted 02-21-2003 at 07:25:54       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Cindi,
For hogs that are going in the freezer I skin. But this pig will be going in an expanded metal cage and sit on top of a charcoal fire for 5 hours. The skin will keep the meat from getting burned, hence less waste.


Cindi    Posted 02-21-2003 at 07:37:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
Oh, okay. So basically it cooks inside the skin...whole? How do you know when it's done?


SteveB    Posted 02-21-2003 at 08:32:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Use a meat thermometer and cook until the thickest part, usually the ham, has reached the proper temperature which I think is 155 degrees. I don't have a thermometer in front of me and that tells me what various meats have to be cooked to to be "done"


Cindi    Posted 02-21-2003 at 08:39:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
allrighty, thanks. I want to try this once but I get the goosbumps cooking a turkey in the oven as it's usually so big and don't want to send a bunch of people home sick. Thanks.


Gary, Mt. Hermon, La    Posted 02-21-2003 at 07:06:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
I skin my hogs cause I dont make cracklins or save the lard anymore. It's just so much easier than dipping and scraping. I also can cut away much more of the fat layers from the hog by skinning it.


Cindi    Posted 02-21-2003 at 07:40:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
Okay so unless you're roasting a whole pig, the skin can go. It seems like a massive chore to butcher a hog. Everything on them is so heavy. The head alone must weigh twenty pounds or so.


Les...fortunate    Posted 02-21-2003 at 05:48:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well, it's been a long time since I helped butcherin a hog but I would forget about the electrocution idea. Shoot him.
As far as the scalding, get it just as hot as you can. Are you going to use rosin to get off the bristles? That's the only way I've ever seen it done. Also, I would not leave the carcas in too very long. The idea is not to cook it but to loosen the bristles. Kind of like preparing chickens for pickin.


Cindi    Posted 02-21-2003 at 05:03:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
STORY ALERT!
When we first moved to our farm, we purchased two Duroc barrows for the express purpose of putting them in the freezer. We treated these animals with respect and kindness, despite their dubious future, and were under the impression that we could pet and care for these animals and still covet the meat. I still feel this way.

Anyhow, the day came when 'Porkchop' was due to meet his fate so we pulled the trailer around to load him up for his final ride. I knew by the angle of the trailer and the proximity of the gate that if Porkchop so chose he could find an escape route. Well, he so chose. He wriggled his way out and was heading for the front gate and the neighbor's pasture before I could form the words to tell my husband that he was loose.

He hit the gate and made a sharp left into the neighbors pasture and as he passed the neighbor’s fence, which consisted of one strand of electric, he got zapped. No amount of pushing, pulling, baiting, begging, or reasoning was going to get this pig to come back out the way he went in. We took the fence down and even walked back and forth through the opening to show him the danger was passed, but no cookie.

The thing was discussed and my husband made up his mind that there was only one option so that the neighbor could get his fence back up and we could get on our way. He sent my son in the house to get the gun.

I gave the kids the option of being present or not, based on their own personal squeamish scales and they all decided to be present. The girls and I plugged our ears with our fingers and alternately opened and snapped shut our eyes in horrible anticipation. My husband baited Porkchop close, and he ambled up like a pig who had never been abused in his life and never expected he would be.

If the first shot had done the deed then I suppose I wouldn't have broken down and sobbed like a baby, but it didn't. Porkchop squealed and shook his head like he'd been stung in the forehead by a particularly nasty bee. It took two more shots to accomplish the goal and by this time all three of us girls were sobbing openly. Porkchop was blissfully unaware that we were the source of his pain, I however was not and at that moment I was the most wretched creature on earth.

My husband went off to get the four-wheeler to pull Porkchop out, and the neighbor wandered up with a length of rope in his hand.

"Sorry about your pig." He said softly. I explained to him that the pig had been on his way to slaughter and had been slated for the freezer and was not a pet.

"So you were gonna kill him anyway?"

I watched his expression change as it dawned on him that he was dealing with a bunch of soft city women.

My husband opened the jugular vein and he bled out very neatly, but we were on the side of the road so it didn't matter much where the blood went. We never have butchered a pig but we will someday, but will probably start out with a hundred pounder or so, something we know we could handle weight wise.

We sell to a lot of hispanics and they don't shoot the pig at all, they pen him up, walk up and stick him and then just walk away and wait for him to bleed out. I guess you have to be pretty sure what you're doing to do it that way though.




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