Thursday, September 04, 2008

More pig stories and other news

So yesterday we were going to take the last of the original three (Big Guy) to the butcher. I had revamped the cage I use to pick up weaners (and the occasional goat) to accommodate a 280 or so pound hog. And I bought some chains to hold it down on the borrowed trailer; I didn't think bungee cords would be sufficient.

Well, it took a good 2 or more hours of patient cajoling to get Big Guy into the cage. He wanted to go, but didn't have the confidence that he would fit inside. On our last try (I was giving it 10 more minutes before calling it off and doing it ourselves this weekend) we re-organized the ramp system and he marched right up.

Lesson learned-patience and listen to all suggestions.

Of course then we had to rush because our first CCD class was yesterday evening. We dropped the pig, (on the way, we noticed the cage being lifted on one side several times. I was afraid, but knew the chains were stronger than Big Guy) rushed home, showered and got to CCD just in time. Although, as a final note, I must say that it was sad to leave the slaughter of Big Guy to a stranger. It didn't seem right. Although I have great confidence in this butcher, I still had paing of guilt. If nothing else, it confirmed me in doing the rest here.


Good news with "Fred". He is moving very slowly (he could be sore from injections), but before we gave him the IM injection this morning I took his temp. It's down to 102.5 F-which is right about where it should be (really 102.3).


I plan on planting today if I can get one or two paying projects out of the way this morning. Turnips, radishes, carrots, spinach, and kale. I would really like to get the seeds in the ground today to take advantage of the rains coming this weekend from Hanna.

Latest projections have Hanna turning more and more to the North, which means landfall will be North of us (Myrtle Beach of NC outer banks?) We should therefore get residual rain, but nothing too direct or threatening. We'll still be waiting on Ike, but that is more days off and who knows where he will land.


No TV reception or cable in these parts, so I haven't watched either convention these weeks. In many senses I am glad I am not bogged down by feeling there is something I need to catch on the TV. There is so much else to do-like reading. It doesn't look like I will finish The Gulag before it is due back. I want to finish it, but reading time has been fleeting recently.

Okay, back to work. Oremus pro invicem!


Anonymous said...

If you do not trust your abitoir.

I would always place my "Mark" on the slaughtered hog after it has been halved or quartered.

Before my brother and I started working at a slaughter house in my Jr. High days, we would take or cattle to the local house, which we did nto trust too much. Ie... one side of beef looks like any other, but does not taste as good as yours. (mom and dad had recieved beef that we did not bring to the house. They had sold our beef to a local steak house we found out later as Gormet top quality).

We grain fed our beef so that we would have the most tender sides of beef on the table.

I know that many feel that grain feeding is not natural. This is not true. In the old testament they would "Fatten" caves for sacrifice and for the prodigial son as well. Fattening is Grain feeding. Needless to say they did not use homones back then, but my family did not use BGH either.

The crux of the issue is that you want to get the pig / Steer / Goat that you brought in the door. You can come up with a cut that is your "Mark" and I suggest it if you have a lack of trust in the house you are using. We always did this as a security measure.

Jim Dorchak

Jim Curley said...

Jim-We worried about this, but as it turns out, ours was the only hog he did that day, so we know we got ours.

Hopefully we will do the rest ourselves, but I will certainly keep it in mind the next time I go to a butcher.

We use grain mostly. Our farmer neighbor let us go through his corn field when he had finished harvest and he brings by all his extra or over-ripe watermelon. I am trying to rotate pens so they have grass to eat-but that is only a supplement-mostly they get grain (no hormone).

We have been pleased so far. Next slaughter will be end of September/early October I think.