Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bacon, Part 1

Possibly their last group picture (this is the most sentimental I'm going to get).

It was February and it was time. Two pigs needed butchering- the large male (Spock) and a female who we were raising for a neighbor.  It had been so easy to lure Princess onto the trailer at butchering time last year.  We were hoping for similar luck this time.

Jamey had asked a friend to come assist.  And, bless his heart, he came.  Sam was in charge of picture-taking and videoing since I was inside with the baby.  At one point, Sam came in and I asked, "They have them loaded already?" to which Sam replied, "Um, no.  Can't you hear them squealing?"  I opened a window and yes, indeed, I could hear squealing and quite a ruckus going on in the barn.

Tactic #1 was to drive the trailer into the pig yard and lure them onto it with kitchen scraps and feed.  This did not work.

Tactic #2 was to get them into the barn and funnel them down this hallway and toward the open door you see below.  The trailer had been backed up flush to the open door, so when the pigs stepped out the door, they'd step onto the trailer.  Seems like it should work, right?

The pigs did not like this tactic either.  Jamey and our friend tried using boards to herd them out the door (by making the space smaller) but they simply pushed pass the boards.  They tried the bucket method.  A pig who has a bucket placed over their head will back up to get their head out.  The idea is that you can back them up in the direction you want them to go.  This eventually worked but it took a long time.  They'd get one on the trailer and as they tried to back the other one into it, the one on the trailer would push past and into the barn once again.  We used up all our kitchen scraps and feed.  They were not having it.  Finally, they decided to transport one at a time.

At one point, 420-pound Spock shot under Jamey's legs heaving him up into the air.  It was sort-of a miracle that neither of them got hurt.  Oh, except for a sore foot.  Spock stepped on Jamey's foot.  "Take that", he thought.

During all of this, Turk was a mess.  He had to be put on a leash. He didn't like that these pigs were wrestling with and squealing at his owner.  Eventually, he had to be brought inside with me but he just cried and barked at the door.  He spent some time in his crate that evening until he could finally calm down and relished cuddling with Jamey on the couch after it was all over.

It wasn't in the initial plans but we ended up buying a grill/smoker so we could learn to process some of the meat ourselves.  Stay tuned for Bacon, Part 2, and be glad you don't have to heard pigs on a trailer today.  Unless you do.  In that case...good luck. Pin It

1 comment:

  1. My brother in law makes his own bacon. I have wanted to try it since we have a smoker but have not gotten around to it. But, whether you make bacon or not, anything from the smoker is delicious. The easiest way to feed a crowd is to load it up with whole chickens. They are absolutely scrumptious and so easy except for cleaning up the smoker. A few years ago we started putting all the greasy, smoky racks and pan in the dishwasher all by themselves. This we revolutionary since no one had to hand scrub them anymore which is a huge mess. Enjoy!


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