Smallholder's Diary October 19 2009

WELL the pigs have finally gone! They were slapped marked last Saturday evening whilst having their final meal. As this was our first time, we were apprehensive as to whether we would hit them hard enough as you cannot see the mark. There was a niggling

WELL the pigs have finally gone!

They were slapped marked last Saturday evening whilst having their final meal. As this was our first time, we were apprehensive as to whether we would hit them hard enough as you cannot see the mark. There was a niggling doubt it actually worked, which of course is important as once your pigs have entered the abattoir system this will be there only form of identification.

As the pigs needed to be at the abattoir between 8.30am and 9am on the Sunday, we were up very early in anticipation of having difficulty in getting the pigs in to our trailer. However, the pigs were so inquisitive when we backed the trailer in to the pen, once opened they calmly walked in to it without any form of persuasion. When we arrived at the abattoir there were several other vehicles already waiting to offload their animals and it was just a case of waiting your turn. When this arrived, the pigs again calmly walked out of the trailer and in to their pen.

The actual deed is not done until early on the Monday morning, and we were able to collect them on the Tuesday morning. Although the pigs are completely black all over, once they have been through the slaughter process and their bristle removed they are a dirty white colour underneath. This being so, it was with relief to see that our concern over the visibility of the slap mark was unnecessary.

The pigs have now been butchered and our freezers are completely full, it is surprising how much meat you get from two pigs. Although in the main the pigs were cut into joints and chops, we kept a number of the less popular cuts back, and have made our own sausages. This was an interesting and sometimes hilarious exercise, particularly trying to get the right amount of sausage meat at the right speed in to the casings. Needless to say we have a variety of shapes and sizes, but they are all home-made.

We are also trying to cure some of the belly cuts for streaky bacon, these are currently submerged in salt which is drawing the liquid out of the pork.

Most Read

The cockerels have befallen the same fate as the pigs and have now all been slaughtered, we suspect these will only be good for broiling due to their age.

As for the rest of the garden it has taken a back seat at the moment due to the pigs and chickens. No doubt things will get back to normal soon.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter