Keeping Berkshire Pigs

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Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby mannytheseacow » Thu May 08, 2014 11:36 pm

Sounds like a good system, George. What's even better is once that infrastructure is paid for, you're free and clear and it's all profit... not to mention, you're getting paid to learn along the way. It makes good sense to have a friend in the butcher business. As much as I like to manipulate everything on my own I find that community is really a good thing; especially as the operation grows. We can do lots of things half-assed or a couple of things really well!

Just think when that food forest of yours starts producing. Man, you'll be set.
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Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby matt walker » Thu May 08, 2014 11:36 pm

I think you did very, very well George. It's not easy to keep costs as low as you have. In my opinion, your customers got a great deal and if it works for you, you are going to be successful in this venture for sure.
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Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby George Collins » Sat May 10, 2014 2:27 am

When raising pigs for others, one of the things I do to improve profitability is to get back all the parts and pieces that the customer doesn't want. Since most people only want the prime cuts, I almost always get back the livers, hearts, lungs, kidneys, heads (minus the jowls which I recommend to have made into bacon), heads, fat and feet.

Right now I am cooking out lard and boiling six trotters.

And while kidneys of any stripe sounds positively gross (even for one that loves chittlins), chickens aren't nearly so picky so I am able to get a sizable quantity of high protein chicken feed for free.

Before putting the feet into the water to boil, I was able to slice off a few scraps of meat which I battered and fried. If the rest of the pigs' meat tastes as good as those few bites, I am about to have a bunch of very happy customers.

Tasting that meat has gone a long way towards easing my apprehension. The reasons for my nervousness are:
1. these are the first hogs I've ever sold that resulted from on-farm production
2. and (following the example of Walter Jeffries) these are the first boars that I've ever sold for meat.

The only known factor going into this is that I like boar meat as well as that from a barrow. However, that's not to say that others will. Since most of those who bought a pig picked up their meat today, reviews should start rolling in this weekend.
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Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Sat May 10, 2014 4:29 am

Good Luck George, I hope they all like and enjoy the meat they got. :) From what you said they all got a bit more than they barraged for. So I am guessing that you did alright. :D
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Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby Jenny-the-Bear (grr) » Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:29 am

Oh boy, somebody to share pig stories with! We've only raised pigs twice, so far. Four of them the first time, only one the second.

The first time, it was supposed to be 2 pigs. A neighbor also bought two from the same people, then didn't take good care of them, and his wife demanded that he sell them. We bought them.

The second time, we intended to get a 2nd pig to keep the first one company, but things came up, we needed the money for something else, time passed...by then he was getting pretty big, we didn't want to buy a larger, more expensive hog, and didn't want to risk putting a much smaller one in with him. Thus the solo pig.

I promise I'll tell stories later, but it's late and I'm getting tired, so I'll just leave you with a few photos.

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The first set of pigs, their wallowing pool, and back behind them, Pig House. They had the run of abig chunk of woods, plus about another acre of open ground/pasture.

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The first 2 piglets, in Pig House, where they immediately dumped over the water tub.

Image
The pig pasture.
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Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby Jenny-the-Bear (grr) » Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:50 am

One more pic, of happy pigs! Happy pigs taste better.

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