Growing bacon...

Discussion in 'Recipes, Storage and Preparation of Seafood' started by NDT, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. NDT

    NDT Active Member

    So, after a long debate with my wife, I picked up 6 pure bred Berkshire wiener pigs today. First time raising pigs. I’m told the meat has excellent marbling and a darker pink colour then pink pig types.
    I figured with all the bacon, sausage and ham recipes on this forum, this was fitting to post here.
    The plan is to make my own bacon, ham, ground pork for sausage (mix with venison), roasts etc.
    I’ve hunted and butcher many animals including pigs, made lots of sausage over the years, but never raised any.
    This should be an adventure! Any words of wisdom out there?

    NDT.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2020
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  2. Drink

    Drink Well-Known Member

    Should be most interesting for the forum so keep us posted. I understand a sow has on average 10 piglets per litter with 2 litters a year. May need a bigger pen or a very sharp knife. Maybe you have already dealt with the intimacy.LOL.
     
  3. Captain PartyMarty

    Captain PartyMarty Well-Known Member

    Check out the back of any farmer/vegetable stores near you they usually have a dumpster full of veg and fruit pigs love that! I once gave our pigs a whole box of garlic. Stunk like garlic in the neighborhood for a week, don’t recommend that!
     
  4. NDT

    NDT Active Member

    Lol I won’t be breeding this go around. All will be butchered.
     
  5. NDT

    NDT Active Member

    I’m a bit lucky when I comes to feed. One of my close friends is a grain farmer and another good friend has the largest fruit stand/market garden in the valley!! Thanks for the tip on the garlic lol
     
  6. fish brain

    fish brain Crew Member

    Pigs are a lot of fun, and you can train them easily, but they can be stubborn and hard to deal with if they decide to be and trust me a 200 lb pig does not want to be wrestled.
    Here's a few tips I have learned over the years. Line the inside of the pen with electric wire at about nose height or they will dig them selves out. Also when you feed them always give a call and shake the feed bucket. I call Pig pig pig. or sooooeee sooooooeee soooooeee. Don't over feed them. Doing these things will make it much easier to round them up when they do get out, cuz when you give the call and shake the bucket they will come running. Plus over feeding them makes em really fat, which is a mistake I made with my first batch of pigs. It's easy to tell if you are over feeding them, they should be really happy to see you, if you walk up to the pen and they just saunter over, or worse dont bother to get up, you are over feeding them.
     
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  7. Chasin' Dreams

    Chasin' Dreams Well-Known Member

  8. island idiots

    island idiots Active Member

    Feed em lots of veggies and goodies. For protein you can feed them fish, but stop before you butcher for a period of time and finish them with apples, good apples. They like rooting around too, so if you can move them from plot to plot as they clean them up, they love fresh over grown areas.
     
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  9. NDT

    NDT Active Member

    Thanks fish camp, wondered about the over feeding part.
     
  10. NDT

    NDT Active Member

    I have an wooded area about an acre in size that will be electric fenced, lots of forage, a wallow area and shade
     
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  11. casper5280

    casper5280 Well-Known Member

    A Buddy had pigs and used them to clear the land . He just kept moving their pen down the property. I couldn't believe what a great job they did. They chewed through a huge blackberry patch and pushed all the rocks to the side of the pen. In one summer they cleared just about his whole property and after every move he would just rake it out and reseeded with grass seed, he also finished them off with all the apples from his property.
     
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  12. fish brain

    fish brain Crew Member

    If you are going to use them to clear out under your wooded area, keep moving them as soon as the underbrush is gone or they will eat the bark off the roots and you will wind up with a bunch of dead trees. I now have a clearing where I let my pigs stay too long. For some of the trees it took about ten years for them to die, but eventually most of them did.
    Re finishing them with apples, your pigs should be ready about mid july, so not a lot of apples around then. If you do have access to lots of apples, it takes lots of them like 3/4 of total feed for about a month to really change the flavour. But honestly if you are keeping them outside in a large area, maybe moving them once and a while, it almost doesn't matter what you feed them, the pork will taste better than anything you can buy in the store
     
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  13. fish brain

    fish brain Crew Member

    Keep an eye on their back bone, if you cant see their spine they are too fat. It should sit even with their back. If it's sharp and pointy looking you are under feeding them. You are aiming for picture no three.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
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  14. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. NDT

    NDT Active Member

    Haha, love it. I’d eat more seafood if it were closer. Only get out there for two weeks a year. But we do we nice trout and Kokanee (if open) from Kootaney lake.
     
  16. NDT

    NDT Active Member

    This is the plan, the field has been taken over by small alders before we purchased it. Time to reclaim the land.
     
  17. walleyes

    walleyes Crew Member

    Lots of work to clean a pig skin on, we did a couple every fall when I was growing up and have done a few over the last 15 years, be prepared for a full days job just to get one hung. Burn, scald, burn some again and scald, scrape and scald and scrape again. Unless you plan on skinning them out, that’s an option as well but I don’t like the looks of skinless bacon and ham. Wonder what black skin on a ham or bacon would look like. Not that it would matter in the taste I doubt but it will look odd I think.

    My father was old school of course and didn’t believe in killing an animal and then bleeding it out he insisted on having the heart pump it out. What a racket that is hog tying (literally) a 150lb pig and hanging it over a tree limb and cutting its jugular and having it bleed out. Not something one would want his town kid neighbors hearing this day and age lol. The ones we’ve done the last few years we shot, strung by the back legs quickly, hoisted up then cut the throat and let them bleed out. Meat was not as clear but in all reality I couldn’t remember it being different from my younger years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
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  18. NDT

    NDT Active Member

    Thanks for the advise. I’m going to skin one and take one the slaughter house for the scalding method. They charge $85 to slaughter, scald and have hanging ready for pick up. I will skin one out as well. The one I skin will be mostly ground up, except for bacon, tenderloin and chops. We like our kielbasa, pepperoni sticks, bratwurst, breakfast sausage... and to mix with the elk I plan to harvest this fall, if I end up in the right place at the right time.
    In the past, I’ve done the shot, hang and bleed method. I’ve been happy with the results thus far.
    Week 1 is over and they have consumed 72 lbs of feed and each one seems to have gained 6-8 lbs. it’s hard to judge but it seems they have doubled in size.
     
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  19. walleyes

    walleyes Crew Member

    Oh nice, heck yah I’d pay $85 to have that done any day, well worth it.
    I’m interested to see what bacon with black skin on it looks like, be different that’s for sure.
     
  20. NDT

    NDT Active Member

    There skin seems to be black, white or a mixture of both. Very interesting. I will keep the thread updated if theres interest.
    I also make all my own sausage. I really enjoy the whole process.
    Now I need to learn how to cook like some of the pros on this site!!
     
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