NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: First slaughter experience UPDATED WITH SECOND  (Read 1755 times)

Steel

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: First slaughter experience
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2017, 07:39:11 pm »
OUch! That sounds really bad and I am so very sorry that, that happened... What slaughter house was it? Couldn't you file a complaint at all?

On reflection (and after consuming a humongous bar of Galaxy slid around the door of my study by DH, who knows how these things can help) I don't think the abattoir did that much wrong. Yes, the gates should have been shut and yes, there should have been water, but it was nearing the end of the drop off time and I don't think he was in the lairage for long. He was on his own there when we left and it had been a good 15 minutes since the last lot went in (the previous trailer, belonging to nosy lady, unloaded them straight in I think) so he probably went in quite soon after that. He wasn't foaming at the mouth, which they can do when dehydrated and I know that it had been just over an hour since his last drink and pee as I watched him in the pen before he went in the trailer.

For my part I should have padlocked that damn side door and been more verbal in my requirements for a quiet off-loading. You live and learn.

DH said he thought Mr Whistly was quite a cheerful sort of bloke and making noises you usually make to animals when you want them to hurry up, and that the pigs were very wriggly. 

He said he thought our pig was ok in the lairage when we left and looked like he was exploring it. I didn't see that, but then I was filling out the cleansing sheet etc at one point while he was outside so he obviously saw something I didn't.

Steel

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: First slaughter experience
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2017, 07:46:10 pm »
There is an abattoir guide on here so could be worth looking at that for your location.

I did, and it didn't have a great write up to start with a few years ago but then based on the feedback collected the abattoir improved and had good feedback.

One of the reasons I take my board and don't use someone else's is that it doesn't smell of everyone else's pigs which with a boar can make a problem. Rarely do I need it but it is there if I do. Food isn't always enough to distract a pig from the situation. If they feel unsure the last thing they are going to do is relax and eat when they think there is a monster out there. It can be very useful to get your pigs used to moving around with you close to them with your hand tapping on them and getting used to your voice telling them to walk on. I can get most of mine where I want doing this.


Good idea. I'll give it a go over the next couple of months

If a pig is stressed prior to slaughter then the meat wont set. Hitting a pig will potentially bruise the meat.

I've emailed the breeder (who is collecting and cutting the carcass for us) and asked him to give me some feedback on the carcass. He actually has a meat business, uses that slaughterhouse himself and has great feedback on his meat products, so part of me thinks that if an abattoir affected the meat quality he wouldn't use them. His livelihood would be at stake.

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: First slaughter experience
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2017, 08:15:14 am »
Sorry it went a bit wrong, but it sounds like the main problem was the interfering woman.
My understanding of boards is that they are to block a potential pathway and redirect pig, not for hitting or shoving (unless it's critical that they not go where they are trying to go!)


Whistling is a funny one, I chatter and whistle (badly/quietly) to let the animals know where I am behind them, and to encourage them to keep walking on. If I'm closer in I often lay a hand on them as we're walking again so they know where I am.


If the other abattoir is equally close, no reason not to try it and compare.


The trading standards comment could be a bit dodgy or it could be like perfectly good teachers grumbling about Ofsted inspections. Noone likes being studied at work!

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: First slaughter experience
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2017, 08:44:36 am »
Quite right about the board YL. If pigs can see through something they will try to go through. You stand more chance with a solid board which should be pressed down against the floor. No gaps for noses to get under and push. It can be used to push along too.


I always encourage talking to animals and also being assertive. That doesn't mean using force but taking control and being firm. Force usually creates force in a negative way.

3county farm boy

  • Joined Jan 2017
  • Love my family animals and life's sweet
Re: First slaughter experience
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2017, 08:13:06 pm »
I work in an abattoir and I breed pigs, I have on many occasion reversed trailers for nervous smallholders to the unloading gate, it's not easy to drop your animals off  I've been doing my own for years and I'll tell you it doesn't get much easier I think I've just learned to deal with it better by being in control,  I also jump up in the trailer with my board and guide a pig/pigs out, if that's not what the smallholder wants then I advise them to bring their own board or use ours, whilst you have the board you are in control of the situation (or should be) I have witnessed first hand  what you endured with the lady, we have a sign in place that states no one is to unload without a member of staff present , this puts us in control of a situation like that and also gives you the chance to advise us you have a lively animal or you may ask for help unloading I hope you get better luck next time
Everyday is a day to wake up for

devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: First slaughter experience
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2017, 08:21:48 am »
At the abattoir I always used (Langs of Ashburton) there was never any harsh noises, just the soft grunting of pigs in the lairage and the quiet voices of the abattoir staff. certainly no shouting or pigs screaming!!
I would try the other place and better luck for next time. :hug:

Steel

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: First slaughter experience
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2017, 09:41:13 pm »
Mr Piggy is back. Well most of Mr Piggy. His legs are being done as gammon at the moment. Hanging my head in shame as Mr Piggy was 100kg deadweight at 7.5 months. Oops. He has one brother that is bigger (and one smaller) not due to go off until end of November. We have brought the date forward to October and have put piggies on a diet, less pellets and much more fresh stuff. We have six full size bramley trees and a pear tree, which should help. Really need to get them out and around foraging more to work of some of the fat. Big pig is destined for bacon and ham, smaller pig will be a mixture.

Lovely backfat. In fact all of the fat is lovely. My grandmother would have had that off me straight away  ;D she was a lover of lard. Sausages were fab last night, the butcher did 23kg of them so they should last a little while.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 09:45:36 pm by Steel »

greenbeast

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: First slaughter experience
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2017, 08:49:11 am »
Hanging my head in shame as Mr Piggy was 100kg deadweight at 7.5 months. Oops.


ha ha ha   ;D

DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: First slaughter experience
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2017, 10:08:20 am »
I took my two girls yesterday. Abbatoir man refers to them as piggies wiggies! He has his own butchery business. No cuss, no shouting, pig's encouraged down the ramp and into the large. Paperwork completed, discussion about trichonela. Off we went. We are so lucky.

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: First slaughter experience
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2017, 08:20:39 am »
Mr Piggy is back. Well most of Mr Piggy. His legs are being done as gammon at the moment. Hanging my head in shame as Mr Piggy was 100kg deadweight at 7.5 months. Oops. He has one brother that is bigger (and one smaller) not due to go off until end of November. We have brought the date forward to October and have put piggies on a diet, less pellets and much more fresh stuff. We have six full size bramley trees and a pear tree, which should help. Really need to get them out and around foraging more to work of some of the fat. Big pig is destined for bacon and ham, smaller pig will be a mixture.

Lovely backfat. In fact all of the fat is lovely. My grandmother would have had that off me straight away  ;D she was a lover of lard. Sausages were fab last night, the butcher did 23kg of them so they should last a little while.


I do hope you'll be keeping and using the lovely lard  ;D

Steel

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: First slaughter experience
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2017, 10:35:33 am »
thought I'd just update this thread to bring it to a conclusion on our experiences taking our three pigs to slaughter.

The last two pigs of our trio were slaughtered this morning - both 9.5 months. It went better in many respects than before, in that we took them to the lairage yesterday so avoiding the noise and haste on slaughter day today and we were able to get them out of the trailer on our own without interference.

But unfortunately they did not want to come out of the trailer. Not at all. 300kg + of reticent porkers. In the end we had to turn them around and use a board in front of their faces to encourage them out backwards. Forwards they just put the brakes on, and my husband learnt that a pig with its brakes on is not to be messed with and put his back out trying to push them. They had the brakes on all the way, which made it worse. It took about 20 minutes.

So, unloading them was a bit stressful, and they ended up in a small pen, which I was not happy with. When we left, there must have been 10+ smallholders' vehicles lined up down the street with several animals in each. God only knows how they fitted them all in.

I'm not convinced the lairage facilities at this abattoir are big enough to take all of the animals that are turning up the night before, and our pigs hardly had any room in their pen to turn, so I think if there is ever a next time we'll be trying elsewhere. There was a bigger pen inside the building, which presumably ended up having mixed loads of animals in there.

I can't believe how quiet it is in the paddock. No snuffles or excited snorts any more. Nothing tearing around excited to see me (well apart from the chickens). Had a bit of a cry. I really do miss them, to the point of looking for more pigs this morning just to have something there, but am holding off doing anything for a while as we will have too much pork (we have enough for at least a year), they are expensive to rescue and keep as pets, and trying to rear pigs for other people (either weaners or full grown) is not an avenue we want to go down.

I've loved keeping them but hated killing them and I can't ever see me getting used to that side of things. The guilt is phenomenally powerful.

Does this mean I'm not cut out for this? Not sure...DH doesn't feel guilt - he says they had a great life, much better the majority of pigs get, and they were spoiled rotten.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 10:46:28 am by Steel »

Louise Gaunt

  • Joined May 2011
Re: First slaughter experience UPDATED WITH SECOND
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2017, 11:19:18 am »
I'm glad things were better this time around. It is OK to feel sad when animals go - they have been a big part of your life, and no matter how you try not to let it happen, they work their way into your heart. They did have a good life with you, and will be very tasty pork! Don't feel guilty, you raised these pigs to be eaten, and gave them the best life possible. Enjoy the pork, let the field recover, and as the freezer empties think about  some more weaners.  :hug:

Steel

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: First slaughter experience UPDATED WITH SECOND
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2017, 12:56:01 pm »
I'm glad things were better this time around. It is OK to feel sad when animals go - they have been a big part of your life, and no matter how you try not to let it happen, they work their way into your heart. They did have a good life with you, and will be very tasty pork! Don't feel guilty, you raised these pigs to be eaten, and gave them the best life possible. Enjoy the pork, let the field recover, and as the freezer empties think about  some more weaners.  :hug:

Thank you. It could be a long time before we have weaners again because of how much pork is going to be in the freezers. Three pigs worth will last a long time but there's already a pig-shaped hole in our lives!


Crofterman

  • Joined Oct 2017
Re: First slaughter experience UPDATED WITH SECOND
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2017, 08:29:44 pm »
Don’t feel bad. I saw a YouTube video where the guy said something along lines of “They have a great life and then one bad day”. You obviously care for your animals and that’s all they could ask.

greenbeast

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: First slaughter experience UPDATED WITH SECOND
« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2017, 08:21:53 am »
You could always take them in a little early, say 5-6 months, less pork in the freezer each time but pigs in the paddock more of the year. Of course cost efficiency probably not great this way.

 

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