The pigs had lulled me into a false sense of security, and after a day or two of lolling around in the stable came out like a couple of raging bulls when we were hoping to lead them quietly into the trailer. The plan was to make the whole thing as stress free as possible so as not to send them off agitated. Actually the pigs were fine - but decided they would rather root around in earth again than stick their heads in a bucket.
After a lot of pushing and coaxing and in Neils case, rodeo grabbing and being dragged across the concrete yard (thats Neil not the pig) we finally got them in. I think we were all far more stressed than the pigs, who had a lovely bed of straw and buckets of feed to munch on before the last journey.
Later I went to work and Neil and Keith headed off to the abbatoire. The pigs were duly dropped off and a few days later the boys drove back to the butcher to pick up the meat.
Apparently the butcher pulled a large trolley into the reception, like the ones shelf stackers use in the supermarket. There were seven massive boxes full of meat on the trolley. Keith and Neil were amazed at the amount of meat, but then the butcher headed back to get a second trolley, once again loaded with pork. We ended up with 228 kilos of meat.
Although the meat was all chopped up, it was still in unrecognisable cuts of meat as far as we were concerned. Neil, Keith and Margaret chopped it into portions and joints and bagged them all up and yesterday we all got back together to sample our first piece of home raised piggy. I am glad (and a tad relieved) to report that it was absolutely delicious, which is just as well as we could be eating it for some time.
Would we do it again? Well I think it would be more economical if we bred them and / or grew our on foodstuffs for them, or at least sourced some cheaper feed. I'm not sure. I think this year we are going to concentrate of raising some ducks and geese and not have any more large beasts for a while. But never say never!!
Oh and by the way, although we had requested that the butcher left the skin on the joints, we were quite suprised to find almost a box full of the skin. Has anyone any ideas as to what to do with it or how to treat it? We want to use every part of the pig if we can. Just a thought.
Some pics of Keith, Margaret, Neil and myself making 'pigs' of ourselves on our first tasting of the meat!