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Re: A few questions on butchering hogs

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Posted by Cindi on February 21, 2003 at 05:03:20 from (

In Reply to: A few questions on butchering hogs posted by SteveB on February 21, 2003 at 04:38:45:

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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