Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Eating older pigs  (Read 1144 times)

Julia1521

  • Joined Jul 2020
Eating older pigs
« on: February 13, 2021, 08:06:23 pm »
Hi guys,

I have two 7 year old sows that I've been keeping as pets but after a lot of debating I've decided they need to go. There are a few reasons for this but one of the main ones it that one of them is starting to struggle with joint pain and is requiring more and more pain medication which is very expensive.

Anyway, I plan to send them to the slaughter house to get some meat back. I've finished pigs before but never this age so I was just wondering how different is it? Firstly, will I be able to get good joints from them or will it most likely just be sausages? Also at the moment I've been trying to keep them quite lean (as per the vets advice) because of their age. Should I start trying to fatten them up for slaughter? Finally, will they taste any different?

Thanks in advance guys!

 

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Eating older pigs
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2021, 09:03:24 pm »
I've never (to my knowledge!) eaten an old pig but my first thoughts are if they are on medication then you need to check with your vet the meat withdrawal periods before they can be slaughtered. Might be at least a month which would perhaps impact on their welfare. Secondly I very much doubt you will be able to increase their muscle mass by feeding more. Any weight put on is likely to go on as fat.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Eating older pigs
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2021, 10:05:23 am »
Not only do you need to consider Richmond's points about withdrawal and welfare but whether an animal will be fit to travel and whether your carcase might be condemned or parts of it condemned (legs).


You can't "finish" an old pig only "fatten" it and generally speaking it goes into processing - sausages, pies, pate etc. It will possibly have a stronger flavour and wont be prime so if you do attempt joints they will need more cooking. You could think about mince or diced pork for longer cooking.


Not all abattoirs will/can take "big" pigs as they wont fit in the dehairing machine so will be skinned.

Julia1521

  • Joined Jul 2020
Re: Eating older pigs
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2021, 08:38:42 pm »
The withdrawal period is a very good point and one I have already done some thinking about. Luckily the medication she is on has a withdraw period of only 5 days and at the moment she isn't having it that often. Currently, it's been about two weeks since she last had some. So assuming she doesn't have a bad turn this should be fine. However, of course if she did take a turn and was suffering I would provide pain relief and cancel the abattoir.

In regards to whether or not she would be fit to travel, I don't think this will be an issue either. She will be able to comfortably make it on and off the trailer and can weight bear on all four legs. Part of my reasoning for deciding to do this now is that I think probably in the near future she won't be able to do this and would have to be euthanized on the farm instead which would be a waste. Our vet came out a few weeks ago and we discussed this briefly then and he agreed this was the best option and didn't seem to have any worrys about welfare, fitness to travel etc.


You can't "finish" an old pig only "fatten" it and generally speaking it goes into processing - sausages, pies, pate etc. It will possibly have a stronger flavour and wont be prime so if you do attempt joints they will need more cooking. You could think about mince or diced pork for longer cooking.

Not all abattoirs will/can take "big" pigs as they wont fit in the dehairing machine so will be skinned.

Sounds similar to mutton then? I didn't realise not all abattoirs take big pigs so thank you for making me aware of that I will definitely make sure to check with mine!

Thanks again guys, you've been really helpful!

 

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