Wanted dead or alive. I have always loved animals, but long ago never ever thought I would get to a place where I could eat my pets, much less process them myself. Research into industrial food production, so detrimental to health and the cruelty to animals and employees, opened my eyes and strengthened my resolve. I often hear the question, “How can you eat animals that you raise yourself?” My response is now, “How can you eat animals that you don’t?” We love our animals and feed them the purest food, with no GMO’s or other poisons so our family and friends can eat the healthiest and most nutritious food, raised with love and ending in peace.
This picture is not Charlotte, but is of the most darling, smiling American Guinea Hog piglet from a member of the Facebook group American Guinea Hogs
Here is the link to when we first bought Charlotte and her piglets last year.
On September 19, 2012 we took our American Guinea Hog, Charlotte, to the processors. We had bought her one year prior, with her three little piglets and she was about a year and a half then. Over this year she had initially lost a lot of weight, as she was grossly obese when we bought her an could barely walk. Last winter she was fed hay and alfalfa and kitchen scraps and anything I came across and could store in the root seller such as pumpkins, mangle beets and apple pulp from some friends who were pressing lots of apple cider. This spring and summer she was exclusively on green pasture, with little scraps, and she grew so much and got so big we decided to process her instead of wintering her over.
On Oct. 12 we picked up the meat. I do not know her weight on the hoof, but her hanging weight was 162 pounds. Here is my order as written by the processor, but I have not had a chance to count all the packages to see how many packages of bones, and meat I got.
First I asked to save all lard, and to save the leaf lard separately. (I have not counted all the packages, but it is a lot.)
Save feet (they are extremely high in gelatin which is incredibly good for you, to use in stock or bone broth.)
Save head (that will be covered in another post.)
Save all bones. 20# trim (I can’t remember what that means.)
Save liver and heart.
Here is the breakdown, for those on the AGH group who asked.
I only wanted one ham, fresh so I can cure it myself, and the other one I had turned into fresh ground pork.
Same with the shoulder, and the other one for ground pork. I did not have them make sausage for me, because I prefer sea salt or another good mineral salt, and herbs and spices that I know the quality of, so I will just make my own sausage out of all the ground pork. (I also have not counted all the packages of ground pork yet.)
Two fresh sides, which is the bacon, and in my next post I will explain the brining, curing and smoking process of homemade bacon.
ten pork chops 3/4″ thick and 4 in a package,
1 spare ribs,
2 CS ribs,
2 Shoulder roast 3#,
2 sirloin roast 3# bone in.
I need to count how many packages of ground pork we got and how many packages of soup bones.
The hanging weight means gutted only and they charged $30 for the kill fee and .55 a pound for processing 162 pounds, total cost for her was $119.10.
This is an excellent post from LoveLiveGrow that has a lot of great information about how much meat you get from a 300 pound pig. Walter Jeffries from Sugar Mountain Farm is another excellent resource on all things pig.
I must say that we have not tasted any of the pork yet. I was so excited and grateful that our friends are experts at bacon curing and smoking and we smoked our fresh bacon sides last week. Brining and smoking will be my next two posts.
Thank you for posting this. We have 4 GHs and can’t wait to try the meat…we have a few months to wait. I have a male that we castrated when he was a wee one. Did you castrate your males to avoid the possibility of taint? Any problem with it? When you can, would you please let us know how many packs of ground meat there was? How was the taste?
Hi Rhonda, Thanks for stopping by! We absolutely love our American Guinea Hogs. Their personality and ability to forage on grass is so wonderful. We have only processed our one sow so far and the meat, especially the ground, is incredible. Truly different! I am learning a lot though and will continue to find out what the best way to process them is. I want to do it ourselves, so we can utilize everything, but do not have the proper equipment yet. I still have not counted how many packages of ground meat I got, but it also depends on how you order it from your processor. The lard is also amazing. I only wanted one ham, and had the other ground, and perhaps with another one I will have more cuts ground instead of whole, because I love to make my own sausage and other things out of the ground pork. Ours grow slower than most because we only supplement our own scraps and are low on raw milk right now. I have found that ours are best processed at about 2 years. My friend who introduced us to this wonderful breed has processed several large and even older boars, and with no boar taint! I do not castrate our males. This is a wonderful AGH group on Facebook with so many very experienced members. Hope to see you there. http://www.facebook.com/groups/317519622349/ Jamie