Pig to pork

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

I have the opportunity to "split" a pig with a neighbor. He has raised it, but it's gotten just plain mean, so has to go.
Neither of us has ever done this before. There is a processor that all his friends use,so we'll go there, but beyond that, we're clueless.
Anyone know of a website or source to learn what we should expect? Or do or say? Or even what questions to ask?
We have charts that say how to estimate the weight, but that doesn't explain what we will end up with. I hate to go into this without some idea of what we will have in the freezer.
Any thoughts?
Thanks
Margo

Waddy, KY

I trust that this pig that's turned mean is not an intact male. If so, you don't need it because the meat may have what I call a boar taste and smell. If it is indeed a barrow(castrated male) or gilt (female) then proceed on.

You should expect to get a ham, shoulder, Boston butt, ribs, a pork loin (pork chops), bacon and ground pork. You can have the ground pork seasoned for sausage. The bacon can be cured. The shoulder (picnic ham) and ham can also be cured. They could also be eaten "green" (not cured). I don't know if you'll get rendered lard or not.

Hope this helps.

Janet

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

And a boar wouldn't even make good dog food... a lot of dogs systems can't handle the fat in pork. At the very least, you'd have to use it sparingly with the dogs.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Thanks, Janet, yes, that helps. No, it's not intact, so we're good to go:)
Jayryunen, I'm surprised to hear you say this. My dogs have never had a problem with pork, I use a lot of it, as it's inexpensive. I do feed raw, so maybe that's the difference. They don't like it cooked. The cats will eat it either way:) I prefer cooked....

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Some dogs do fine on it... but if they don't you've got a raging case of pancreatitis and BIG vet bills. That's why you don't see a lot of pork in dog food even though it is cheap... too many dogs can't handle it.

I'm not sure the raw vs cooking would make a difference... it's the fat that's a problem. Too rich or something. So maybe you've been feeding the lean bits? Trotters, bones and not so much the fatty bits? Or your dogs are just fine with pork fat.

Maybe oddly related... pig carcasses can be used to train human cadaver dogs. Apparently the odor of rotting pig and rotting human is so similar that dogs can have a hard time telling the difference. A cadaver dog, even if it hasn't been trained with pig remains, will sometimes alert to a rotting pig. That's never a problem with any other dead livestock.

And I was once told that mastiffs and great danes were the only breed of dog that could eat human remains and not get sick... pancreatitis... because they had been bred hundreds of years ago to feast on the remains of war and peons. Ugh.

Anyway, it's good to be alert to feeding pork to a dog you're not familiar with.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Hopefully "not" bones... bones from pork tend to splinter and can damage the intestinal tract.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Yes, I feed neck bones. I've never heard splintering to be a problem with raw bones. Cracked teeth, impactions, yes, but not splinters. JME.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I've heard of problems with pork, chicken and venison bones unless pressure cooked. Also had a customer whose Lab imbedded a beef bone in the roof of his mouth and into the eye socket. Major infection and the dog almost lost that eye. Neckbones may not present a "splintering" problem.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

People who feed raw seem to feel that it's cooked bones that cause the problems, but someone I know on a dog forum said that her boyfriend lost his lab after feeding it raw chicken bones. The bones still splintered and perforated its intestines. They were heartbroken.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

The long bones from the larger animals could present a problem even raw, especially if they dry out> Then they will splinter. Of course, the big long bones would probably cause impaction more often than a splintering problem... large doses of calcium will do that.

I've fed the raw long bones, but I watch to see how each one is (splintery?), and I don't leave them out... basically, my dogs get to chew on them for a day, then they get picked up. Dry bones splinter.

The older the slaughtered animal, I expect the harder and more brittle the bone. The supermarket chicken I've gotten the bones were so soft they could be bent. But I would hesitate to give the long bones from a 6 year old chicken to my dog... back, neck, breast OK by me.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I have a question for those who say raw chicken bones are not safe for dogs or cats. Who debones the poultry and wild birds or rabbits & squirrels that cats and dogs kill and eat? We have had cats and dogs who kill and eat poultry and wild birds and they have never had a problem. I've also never heard a hunter say they have found coyotes, feral cats, etc. just lying dead somewhere that might indicate they died of punctured intestines, etc.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Leaflady, chickens are larger than most of the usual prey such as wild birds or rabbits, but aside from that, I do know lots of people who have fed raw for years with no problems. However, there's always the chance of splintering and perforations, and if it's your pet, you may not want to risk it. I'm sure that animals in the wild die that way occasionally, but it would require an autopsy for a hunter to determine cause of death if he even found such a carcass. Vultures and other carrion eaters probably make short work out of them.

One or two stories about deaths from raw bones told by credible people was enough to convince me that I didn't want to try it. That was my choice and others make different decisions.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

My dogs and cats have always had chicken bones given to them. Cooked and raw. There is only one bone I won't deliberately give them. That is the sliver wide one along the back leg. My dogs and cats have also been known to 'help themselves' to fresh poultry meat on occasion.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

And I'm sure they'll be fine with it. But if I tried I suspect I would have a problem. I had always given all of my dogs rawhide to chew on ever since I was a kid, and never had any issues with it. Then the mother of my daughter's school friend told me it wasn't a good idea because it could make the dog choke or spit up. I told her that I'd always used them with no negative effects. I went home and gave my dog a rawhide chew and darned if she didn't start spitting up pieces of it. I think that woman created her own reality and shoved me into it!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

When eating bones, pets can become too constipated as mentioned above. A domesticated pet doesn't eat the same roughage as one in the wild and their digestive system reacts differently.
I've had large dogs for many years and the majority have lived into their teens. What works for me, suits me so I will continue as I've done... with an apology for mentioning the bone issue. pod

This message was edited Aug 29, 2009 9:19 PM

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