If you're keeping pigs for their meat, the day will inevitably arrive when your pigs have to be slaughtered. Although this can be a difficult day, knowing what to expect and being well prepared will ensure that minimal stress is experienced by you and the pigs.
How will you know that it’s time to slaughter your pigs? It’s a combination of age, weight and condition.
|Porker||A pig reared to pork weight, normally about 60kg live weight, rather than to bacon weight. Usually achieved between four and six months of age, depending on breed.|
|Baconer||A pig being reared for bacon rather than pork, and which will be slaughtered at 80kg - 100kg live weight, at about 8 - 10 months of age.|
|Cutter||A pig between pork and bacon weight, raised to produce larger joints.|
You can estimate the liveweight of your pig using the following method:
- Measure the length of the pig from ears to base of tail in inches
- Measure the girth behind the front legs in inches
- Multiply girth x girth x length and divide by 69.3 to get the weight in kg or 400 to get the weight in lbs.
The killing out percentage for pigs is about 72-74%, since all that is removed is the blood and internal organs. The percentage of usable meat is about 64% of liveweight, with prime cuts being about 48% of liveweight.
Small-Scale Outdoor Pig Breeding Wendy Scudamore
Pig Ailments: Recognition and Treatment Mark White
Know Your Pigs Jack Byard
Pigs for the Freezer: A Guide to Small-Scale Production Linda McDonald-Brown
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