Interested in putting the convenience of the best pork around in your family’s freezer?
Although it may sound daunting to buy “half a pig,” in reality it’s a very simple process. In fact, it is actually more convenient for you and your family to have an in-house pork selection than trying to pick up packages of feed lot meat weekly from the grocery store. The best part is you get to work with us to make sure you receive the exact cuts of meat you want and will use most! From a 250 lbs pig, you can expect between 100 lbs-120 lbs of great tasting, pasture-raised pork going in your family freezer.
What exactly is a half a pig (a side of pork)?
Typical Yield: A 250 lb Berkshire pig(whole pig) yields a hanging weight of about 180 lbs. That is after slaughter and cleaning, head, feet and tail on. This is how animals are sold – by the hot hanging weight after slaughter. Cutting to standard commercial cuts yields about 67% of hanging weight or about 120 lbs of actual cuts. BUT! What happened to that other 60 lbs of your animal? When chilling, there is about a 3% loss due to evaporation of water. This is good – it improves the quality of the meat. The rest is oddments and a lot of good stuff. Eat them. Eat the pig nose-to-tail, top-to-bottom. All of the pig is delicious. Bones make fantastic soup and stew stock. The head can be baked, stewed or made into jelled pork. The trotters and hocks can be smoked for use in delicious, nutritious soups where you get the benefit of the knuckle gelatin. The tail makes excellent soup stock. The back fat makes a fine lard for healthy cooking. The leaf lard makes great pastries. The organs are filled with vitamins and iron. Be a creative cook. Eat like a farmer. Use the oddments – It’s all great pastured pork!
This is a rough estimate… each pig is a little different but this is a “typical” 1/2 pig:
Pounds – Item
10# – Pork chops – you can choose thickness and packaging (chop are typically 1” thick and 2 chops/pack).
3# – Spare Ribs
8# – Ground Pork – 1 lb packages
15# – Fresh Leg of Pork – (Doesn’t become a Ham until brined and smoked)
9# – Fresh Belly Slab – (Becomes Bacon!! when brined and smoked)
14# – Pork Shoulder Roasts – (Boston and Picnic)
60# – Total pounds cuts in your freezer
+25# oddments(see above)
How much space will all this take? (In other words, how big is 1/2 a pig?)
To help you estimate how much meat to expect, half a pig will typically fit inside a standard cooler.
At your house, you need only have a small chest freezer, which is MORE than large enough to accommodate 1/2 a pig. All cuts together are about two to four cubic-feet depending on how you decide to arrange your pork.
Still worried it may be too much? First, realize that you are planning for a year of consumption. 9 packages of bacon in a year isn’t that much! But, if you want less meat, find a friend or family member to split 1/2 a pig with you. That means a 1/4 of a pig is about half this (35 pound or so). You and your friend can find a way to split that 1/2 pig however you want!
How long will 1/2 a pig last?
Generally – two adults that eat pork with any frequency over the course of a year will easily consume 1/2 a pig. Past customers eagerly await the next pork harvest because they have typically finished their pork in less than 8 months!
Is it difficult to order 1/2 a pig?
The process is simple. All that’s involved is sending in a deposit, working with Brian to complete a “cut sheet” (if you have custom requests – and we made this sooo easy – check out a cut sheet here), picking up your pork when it’s ready and paying your balance. If you choose to have your bacon, hams and other delicious goodies smoked in our smokehouse, then you will be making one more trip back to the farm a few weeks later (it takes time to smoke) for those things.