Our 6 month old Wessex saddleback boar pigs
The next few photos are of the pig slaughtering process, with commentary, to help others who want to raise their own meat or understand a process that has mostly been forgotten in modern times.
Our pigs have lived happy lives in the paddock above for the past few months. They have been able to express their pig-ness, and have enjoyed a diet of acorns, whey, scraps, and local gmo-free grains. Their natural behaviour is to search for roots in the ground with their snouts, turning over some of the soil in a gentle way, and also manuring it. They feed the soil life and prepare the ground for new plants to grow.
Vegetarians might want to stop reading this now.
More scraping. The cheeks are removed, they are a good cut for slow roasting and one of the first bits we eat.
The pig is cut down the belly. Lungs, heart, liver and kidneys come out and are put aside for using in recipes.
Stomach and intestines come out next. My friend is holding the caul fat in her hands. This fat can be used to wrap sausages, terrines, pates and so on. The intestines can be cleaned and used to make sausages.
The heads are removed, and the pigs are hung in an open shed from the rafters using rope and scap wood. Next time they will hang up higher than this. There was a small amount of damage from birds to the last pig we processed, next time we might hire a mobile coolroom or cover the pigs with muslin.
I will be writing some more posts about raising pigs and processing them for meat soon.