However, it may be a bit confusing.
When I first considered buying a half a hog from a local farmer I wanted to know what it would cost, and how much meat I would be getting for my money. When I asked the farmer I was told, "it depends on the size of the animal and what cuts of meat you choose." This didn't help me as a first time buyer, so while what he said was true, I'm going to try to give you a better idea of what you might actually get when you buy half a hog.
|In the end, we decided to raise our own pigs, rather than buy one. Here are our girls, Bacon and Sausage on the day we brought them home. Aren't they cute?|
However, if you buy the live animal from the farmer, (whole or half), he can then deliver it to the butcher for you, and you will pay the butcher directly for your processing when you pick up the meat. This is more cost effective, because the butcher is in effect butchering your own meat for you, and the regulations are different.
|Here are the girls in September. We raised them on plenty of pasture and supplemented with non-GMO feed.|
So let's get down to brass tacks.
Here is the math:
We raised these pigs to a goal weight of 250 pounds. One came in at 268 pounds, and the other at 238. The hanging weights were 184 and 170 respectively.
Our price was $3.50 per pound hanging weight.
Let's say you wanted to buy half of the smaller of our two pigs. You would have paid us $297.50 for your half of the pig.
When you take the pig to the butcher, there is a kill fee and processing fees. You have a choice of having the pork all as ground meat, (which is the least expensive way to go) or getting the various cuts of meat, or some of both. In addition to cutting it up and packaging it, the butcher (for an additional fee) will cure and smoke the meat, and season the sausage. We wanted all the various cuts, to see what we liked best, and we had everything we could smoked, cured, and seasoned. So the butchering price reflects the most you would have paid, which was $71.67 for your half of the smaller pig.
Here is a link to pig butchering costs at Cabool Kountry Meats, where our pigs were processed.
This brings your total to $369.17 for 59 pounds in cuts of meat, which equals $6.26 per pound for non-gmo, organically raised, pastured pork. We did a simple search online and found the following per-pound prices for similarly raised meat: ribs $30 a pound, whole ham $8.50 a pound, and bacon $12 a pound.
At only $6.26, you are getting quite a bargain.
But you are probably wondering how much meat are you getting. What does 59 pounds of pork look like?
Remember, it will vary from animal to animal. Some will have more ham, some will have more bacon. Your pig might be bigger than our 238 pound girl when it goes to butcher. Keeping that in mind, the following video shows you exactly what we got from half of our girl, and a general idea of what half a hog looks like when it's ready to go in your freezer.
Here you will see our girls being raised on pasture and how we cared for them. We strive to raise happy healthy animals, and want you to feel confident that you are getting the best quality meat and produce for your dollar. Happy bacon tastes better!
|Pulled pork sandwich from our pigs.|
I can honestly say, this is the best pork I have ever tasted. It doesn't even compare to store bought meat. I will be raising pigs as long as I am able.
Have you bought locally raised meat? If not, why not? What would make it more likely that you would do so in the future? If you have, what was your experience? Would you do so again?