******I have hesitated for quite awhile about writing this post but we are homesteaders and others may want this information. If you do not want to see pics of a hog being butchered please close this now.
What started out as a cold snowy day quickly changed to rain…..Again! We had put off butchering this hog for so long because of the warm temps and rain it was down to now or never as he would soon be too large to handle without a big fuss.
We dispatch our pigs with a shot to the head then cut the throat to bleed them out. Once they are bled out we scald them (we use an old bath tub) but this big boy was even too big for that!
Once scalded we then scrape the hair off. This is a long difficult process in the pouring rain!
After the hog has been thoroughly scraped we then wash him down and gut him, remove the head and using knives and saws we then cut it in half and in the case of this boy he was quartered to hang for 3 days of curing at temps of 38-40 degrees.I then cut up the pig into various cuts saving scraps for sausage. We hand grind the sausage and I mix in my special seasonings,Of course I have to cook up some to see if it tastes right!
Nothing is wasted I remove the meat from the head and all fat is either rendered down for lard or used to make sausage.
We love the cracklins! I ended up with 4 gallons of lard from this pig and enough fat to make sausage plus have some in the freezer to add to ground goat meat.
I hope this shows you the basics and I am hoping the next pig we butcher will not be in the rain so I can video it and show step by step how easy it really is.