How best to kill hogsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
We will be killing a hog for the first time in a few weeks . We have experience with beef and wild game is the pork any different? Are there any special ways or things to look out for? We are going to do a fresh hog no cureing or smoking. Thank you
-- Diane Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 25, 2001
consider it a small cow,,since your not smoking,, you dont have to wory about scraping the hide,,just skin it
-- stan (email@example.com), November 25, 2001.
Skinning is definitely the way to go. Kill your pig, hang it by the hocks and start skinning up at the "butt". We use box cutters and cut about 1/4" deep slices from the butt down to the back of the head and make 2" to 3" wide strips. Once you get them started peeling, they peel right off easy...although sometimes the belly is harder. Head and strips of skin come off together when you saw thru the neck. Your pig is already in position for gutting after skinning. Hope I made that clear enough...sometimes my explanations can be vague :-)!!
-- Marcia (HrMr@webtv.net), November 25, 2001.
We always bleed and gutted our hogs as soon as posible. Then we would skin them.
-- Mel Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 25, 2001.
I'm told you need to be careful about where you shoot, for a humane kill. They have a thick skull, and the shot needs to be well-placed for a quick kill.
-- Shannon at Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary (email@example.com), November 25, 2001.
Yes, Mel...we make sure to get a good bleed after killing. Forgot to mention that!! Thanks! Hubby shoots our pigs with a 357 pistol directly into the forehead (actually closer to just between the eyes). As long as your pigs are not too big (over 250lbs.) they drop immediately and he gets a good "sticking" for a good bleedout before they start to kick. If we are at all apprehensive about getting a good clean and humane shot, we will bring out the shotgun with a slug loaded and ready! We've always gutted after skinning rather than before, but maybe either way is okay :-)!! Sure can't beat the flavor of homegrown pork, tho'!
-- Marcia (HrMr@webtv.net), November 25, 2001.
Definitely right about where to shoot. A hunter friend came over to kill and gut our pigs. I told him where to shoot (draw an X between ear and eye) He thought it would be better to shoot from the back of the head. What a mess. Poor thing, never again. Then I called the butcher to drop it off and they asked if the hair was off. They take deer with hair...so here we were, with a blow torch, scraping off hair. Haven't had pigs for two years now but will try again this spring.
-- Dee (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 25, 2001.
Dee .. you are exactly correct. Make an imaginary "x" between the eyes and ears.Placement of the shot is more important than the caliber of the gun. I almost always use a 22 rifle. The pigs drop imeadiatly...then the start to kick , (nerves) try to stick or bleed the hog right away.It is good to hang it upside down by the back leg to help the blood out (gravity). I skin mine lying on it's back just as you would a beef. Then raise it up by the rear hocks.The rest of the skin can be cut or torn away from the tail down to the head.We then rinse the carcass off and gut it.
The only reason to scald a pig is if you want to eat the feet,ears,or have the head for head cheese.Many people like rind on their hams and bacons.... but it has to come off before you eat it anyway. Skinning is for me ...and if you pay a butcher to kill and process for you ..he charges by weight,no skin ,no feet etc ,it is cheaper for processing. You still get all your organ meat,and your fat for lard.
Good luck on butchering day. Remember the meat in the larder is well worth the work it takes. Also , involve as many family members as possible you'll make memories as well as sausage !!! Ralph
-- Ralph in N.E.Ohio (Roadapple@suite224.net), November 25, 2001.
Like Mel, we always bleed, then gut the hogs before skinning. When we scrape a hog, we bleed, dunk in a large barrel of hot water,(one end at a time) then scrape and gut. You need to work quickly, the more help you have, the better! Skinning is definately the easiest but you don't get the fresh pork rinds! If you have processed your own beef and wild game, you should have no problem at all. Good luck!
-- cowgirlone (email@example.com), November 25, 2001.
Right about through the forehead for pigs. With animals that have evolved to bear horns (sheep, cattle, goats) you're better to go through the back of the head, away from that strong spot. Pigs are the opposite - they have big strong neck muscles for rooting, and big strong bone attachments for the muscles on the back of the skull; so you're better off going through the front of the skull.
-- Don Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 25, 2001.
When they say 'stick' or 'bleed' they mean cut the throat so that the jugular vein is cut and the pig bleeds out quickly.
I cut from under the jaw joint toward the front of the throat. Works good if you have a sharp knife.
-- Rose (email@example.com), November 25, 2001.
I want to thank everyone for their answers. looks like skinning is the most popular, We have raised pork before and have had butchers come out to the place to do the work but now that we have moved to the north eastern part of Idaho there aren't many butchers about and none that are mobil, How are those of you keeping the carcess clean if you are skinning then gutting are you putting the animal on a tarp? or just laying the animal on it's hide to finish? Those of you hanging the animal up to gut are you hanging from the rear and cutting the briskett area first the letting the contents fall forward?
-- Diane (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 26, 2001.
Diane, when we skin a hog, we hang it from it's hind legs, slit the throat to bleed, use a meat saw to saw through the rib cage, then start from the top (groin area) to gut. I like to place a large tub under the hog to catch everything. After gutting, start at the top again, making slits in the hide from the groin area up the insides of the back legs and around the ankle area. This is where we start skinning the animal. If you have one, a water hose is handy to have to wash the hog off after gutting and after skinning. After you have the hog skinned, all that is left is cutting it up, you might need the meat saw to separate the hams. After you do your first hog, they start getting easier and you learn more shortcuts. We also chill our meat before we package it for the freezer. Hope this helps!
-- cowgirlone (email@example.com), November 26, 2001.
That's right. Kill them, slits through the rear legs between tendons and bones, hooks in, hoist them up, then bleed them. If you want you can skin them then (I'm talking generically here - sheep or goats or cattle or whatever), then gut them (let the guts down onto the inside of the skin, then tow the whole lot away - a few feet - by hand). Personally, I wouldn't do this with a pig unless I needed shoeleather- I like the rind on my ham or bacon too much. Now split the carcase - a hand saw down the backbone will do - I've known people to use a chainsaw, and it's sure fast, but it's not tidy. You can scrape the pig carcase at this stage to get rid of the bristles. Don't forget to go through the guts - you want to use "everything but the squeal, and that at least means liver and kidneys and heart and spleen and sweetbreads. Can also mean stomach lining as tripe (GOOD!), and maybe intestines as sausage casing.
-- Don Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 27, 2001.
Picture an imaginary spot between the eyes on the forehead and shoot. Slit the throat. Hang by the hind feet to bleed. Cut out the innards. Strip the hide. Sheesh, I'm exhausted! Sure glad the butcher comes out to the ranch to do it! -G-
-- ~Rogo (email@example.com), November 27, 2001.
Here's my way to drop them, food in one hand so they'll stand still and and the shot will be quick and humane. I use a 38 placed behind the left ear and aim for the right eye, it is a sure brain and spine shot. Cut above the sternum, in 3"and up 3" to cut the aorta which is the biggest artery to get the best blood flow possible. This is critical for health standards, I skin them by hooking heavy weights in the skin and just walk around them dragging your skinning knife.
-- Raymond L Gray (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 28, 2001.
That's exactly where we "stick" them, Raymond. Produces a thorough bleed!
-- Marcia (HrMr@webtv.net), November 28, 2001.
Try tp keep them calm and in a small pen when you kill, when they get excited the adrenialn (sp?) starts to flow and affects the meat.
A freinds pig ran around the pen and fell, the hams were bruised and had blood spots in the meat, she lost a lot of meat because of it.
-- jennifer (email@example.com), November 28, 2001.
We used to kill hogs when I was a kid. My husband doesn't know how, and my father is dead now, but the meat was much better than what is in the stores. We salt cured the meat. I like it better than smoked meat. We shot the hog in the head, cut the throat, slits in the ankles used a tractor to hang it up by the feet, spread eagle, gutted him, saved the innerds for whatever, heated up a vat of water,(a pit dug, with a metal vat looked like a boat setting over the pit, set a fire under the vat and heated the water to boiling, lowered the hog into the vat and used knives to scrape off the hair. Then we went about cutting the hog up. Used the fat cut up into small pieces, to boil them in a pot over a fire drain the fat off put it into metal drums to cool and use for lard. We ate the craklins, yum. Used etc. parts to make souse. It is a big job and the cost of raising the critters is almost not worth it. We rolled the hams into the salt box and hung them in a building outside until cured.
-- Vanessa (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 29, 2001.
I just killed two pigs yesterday so it's still fresh in my head.Both pigs were shot using the ear to eye "X" method with a 22 mag. rifle. I then cut the throat,perhaps a little too well,my cousin called me O.J. The pigs were then hung by the hocks and skinned. I took the hide off all in one piece like you would a deer, but the idea about the box cutter and the long narrow strips sounds good. I used a game bag to keep the meat clean. Our local butcher shop took the offal which was nice. Good luck,Brent
-- Brent Mattix (email@example.com), November 29, 2001.