Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Slaughtering the pigs

I am on a search, a word search. I really dislike the word Slaughter. Slaughter just sounds so....well harsh. Not that killing an animal is not harsh, the word just conjures up horrible slaughterhouse type images. Not at all how it looks at our farm.

We choose to kill the animals here on the farm, and it ain't easy. We are not set up like a butcher would be, in fact we are not even set up how we want to be. We make due, we jerry-rig, we stumble.

Yesterday 2 of the 4 pigs we raised were slaughtered. It was not perfect, we had issues. Whenever you take the life of an animal and it does not go as planned you go through stages. The first is frustration and then anger, then sadness. You are not frustrated or angry at the animal, but at yourself. Yesterday's slaughtering did not start out well.

Penny waiting in case Chuck needs any help.

Once the 2 pigs were killed the butchering started. The whole process took about 4 hours. Most of the work is done by Chuck, but the kids and I do stand by in case there is anything we can help with. Chuck is not short of help that is for sure.

Even the chickens are there to offer "help."

We bring the carcases to the butcher in halves. They must be skinned and eviscerated. Then washed. Because we have had weather in the 30's we were able to hang the carcasses overnight so that they could be brought into the butcher this morning.


Wash-down before they are brought into a lean-to to hang for the night.

We still have 2 more pigs to slaughter, and then butcher for our freezer.

The non-farm vehicle that is constantly used for farm stuff.

This video was made on our farm 3 years ago, you can watch it to get a better idea of how things are done on the farm. Although the below video is not about slaughtering the pigs it does show some of the process.

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