Loading them up was a little difficult – our cunning arrangement of outer gate meets inner gate, forming new path to the waiting trailer worked a treat, and not having been fed before they were well up for a few scattered pig nuts, but the ramp of the trailer put them off. Note to self: cover ramp with something grippy next time. So eventually, himself heaved them up the ramp – not easy when 90+kilos of pig (an estimate) puts the brakes on, however once in they were happy to throw the new clean straw around etc.
I then worried we would have trouble getting them out at the abattoirs.. you know, with lots of knowledgable farmers smirking away.. but we were last in the queue, and no one but the slaughter guys got to witness our attempts at reversing the trailer, and they have seen us bodge it many times, and the pigs strolled out and joined the others waiting quite happily.
So that was that. Just have to hope the meat is ok.
We do feel a little sad about it, not at parting with the individual animals. I’m afraid,(with the exception of Shirley the ewe that went for mutton (I feel bad cos she trusted me…)) we are only too anxious that something will go wrong when we take the animals to slaughter.. you know.. the trailer gets jammed in our very narrow greenlane, or the animals take off through the village, or …well you get the picture; that having safely delivered them, at our allotted time, we are only too elated to have somehow ‘got away without disaster” yet one more time.
Only later when I picked up a windfall apple and remembered we don’t have pigs I felt a little sad. Whenever we have taken any sheep, we still had some at home, but this means we no longer keep pigs. Well..until next time. – That decision is based on working out our final costs, and tasting the pork.
One slight change of plan: after a couple of weeks of studying those pork diagrams in cook books, and reading up the subject and finally understanding which bits of pork come from what part of the pig (not helped by there being at least two names for each part), and drawing up a cutting list as requested, the butcher came out to check we were really sure about not wanting any sausages or boned out joints. We explained we are keeping costs down etc.. and then somehow.. and I’m not sure at what point this happened, we agreed to have each side cut into three. We shall have to cut it further. This could result in many unidentifiable lumps of pork.. or three seriously big joints…
So a busy day today – we delivered the pigs, started home ed (whilst himself, having a day’s ‘holiday’, cleaned out the trailer etc), then we went swimming, then back to the abattoir to collect the plucks, then a little indulgent time in the local posh yarn store and a coffee and cake in a cafe, then back to harvest the mountain of baby sweetcorn that has sneakily grown whilst we were busy with pigs… and the beans, and the courgettes.. then an hour plus of bean slicing and sweetcorn peeling, before blanching and freezing.
A pigs pluck is massive compared to a lambs, which is what I am used to dealing with.. this evening we have made two meals of faggots, set aside a kilo of liver to make pate with( once we have more pork for the recipe), put some liver in the freezer for another meal, and had liver for tea.
So mission accomplished, and the first pork based meal consumed.
Read Full Post »