Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Pig update - look at those hams!

The pigz are looking glorious - nice and meaty. Despite our shockingly late start with this year's pigz I think we are going to finish strong.

Pigz with husband for scale. 

So why haven't I talked about the pigz very much this season? Well. There's not much to tell. Also, our schedule has worked out so that I don't have to be around the pigz very much. The Big Man has been able to do most of their feeding. Mostly me and the dogs just throw extra apples, turnips, and pumpkins over the fence at the pigz. I'm very glad how this has worked out. Everyone is much happier.

That's right, pig, eat up! This one throws his food around.

So, when are we going to butcher the pigz? Soon. We are thinking in about a month. We've been pouring on the feed this entire summer to hurry them along. We've used more hog chow this year than we ever have. Honestly, I want to get them switched over to all corn for about a month before we got to butcher.

And we need it to be nice and cold. While I appreciate the mild fall... we need a couple of frozen nights to really get the right butcher conditions. First, it's much easier if the ground is frozen. Next, we need to hang the sides of pork somewhere.

Look at those hams! I like pork butts and I cannot lie...

With the set up we have right now (the meat chickens in the garage) we will probably have to hang the porks outside. An extremely cold nite is required to get the meat chilled below 40*. Then it's easier if the meat can continue to chill outside while I part up the pigz inside.

Can you grow out pigz and then butcher them in your yard? Yes you can!  All you really need is good fencing and the confidence to get the job done. If you want to read more about how to prepare yourself for butcher day - and the worst thing that could happen - then here is a post for you. 

Zander checks out the enemy... I mean... his future dinner.

If you are ready to run right out there and get to harvesting your pigz then be sure to check out the best Step by Step Guide that we use. It is our only reference for butcher day.

And if you need tools there here is the list of what we actually use. Mostly you just need a couple of strong people, some good knives, and a sense of humor.You can also check out my Pigz page to see more posts - how to's, what happened, and all about fencing.

What do you think? Are you getting ready for your hog harvest? Are you thinking about it? How can I help you? Questions? Encouragement? Can you butcher your own pigz? Yes you can!


PJ said...

First chickens then who knows. Those are nice looking pigs.

David said...

And the seasonal rhythm turns..... looks like a great harvest awaits...

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