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Author Topic: You filthy swine!  (Read 11787 times)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2021, 12:07:08 PM »
   Good info here. I can't see anyone legally selling pork parts. You can sell the hog then let the buyer have it  butchered and wrapped by a custom processor which may be you but what regs are you going to have to comply with to become a custom butcher? I bet that is going to take some air out of your sales (sails?). You might get people to pay you to raise a pig for them every year but I can't see it becoming a very big operation or highly profitable.

  My local grocery will periodically run pork loins for $.99/lb and I stock up and throw them on a rotisserie or cut into steaks (or have them do it at no extra charge). I can't see how you can raise a hog for that price and that is the prime cuts. I buy cheap fatty sausage or ground pork to mix about 4:1 with my venison to make my own sausage every year or so. Sometimes I'll just buy a Boston butt and grind it with the deer meat.

  I had a local friend in Africa who had ambitions to run a butcher shop. His biggest problem was getting hogs over 250 lbs. The locals there would butcher them much sooner than that.

  My gardener (Rolland) married my maid (Monica)in Cameroon and had to pay the bride price to her uncle (her dad was dead) which included a pig. (Names included because I have been chastised for lack of detail in the past and will try to do better from now on.) He had a friend bring the pig over in a local taxi but just as they pulled into the village the pig died so he had to scramble to get another. Ultimately the wedding failed and they divorced. He should have seen the writing on the wall when the first pig died and just abandoned the project.
Howard Green
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2021, 12:25:23 PM »
Well im already married but the dowery seems to be endless!   :D


I read and read and read on custom slaughter.. The CFR is a serious sleep aid.  I still have not found a state or fed guideline on the physical layout or practices of custom slaughter.  Yes, tons for USDA.. But not for custom.  Mobile slaughter guys appear to legally be going from farm to farm in old bread trucks and such processing right off the tailgate on a tarp.



Mikes backyard BBQ and Septic Service may be completely legit.  Still not certain.  I will make some calls to a few well aged producers i know and see if they can point me to real humans with more info.
Isaiah 63:10

Offline Gary_C

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2021, 12:40:05 PM »
Some years ago the Holstein Association had a feel good project to bring dairy farming to some third world countries and sent then a boatload of nice heifers to get them started. On the follow up visit the recipients told them the heifers tasted good so sent them some more.  :D

Mike, you got a lot of negative opinions about your original idea and you also seem to arguing against it but are yet seeming determined. So when do you start the project?  
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline barbender

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2021, 01:02:07 PM »
Mike, you're an idiot, kid! Haha I don't really feel that way, you asked someone to say it🤷🏽‍♂️😂 One of my buddies as a small farm and raises about 1000 chickens that they process themselves and sell direct to buyers (I think it's 1000, there's a cap on amount before you have to submit to inspections etc.) They also pasture raise between 20 and 40 hogs per year. They hire a local farm slaughter guy to come in, slaughter and split the carcass. Then they bring the hog to a local butcher that they have prearranged to cut and wrap the hog for the buyer. So they are just selling hanging halves to the buyer. It's a niche of finding people who are willing to pay the premium of knowing how it was raised" and deal with the hassle of picking up the big pile of meat from the butcher.
Too many irons in the fire

Online Don P

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2021, 01:15:00 PM »
For us it is VDACS, Virginia Dept of Ag and Consumer Services who can tell us how they need to see it set up. I'm running into that for grinding corn as well, broad muddy guidelines but I'll get the lady out for a walk through before starting to remodel that area. I'm sure your state has a similar entity. They kick in below the fed typical retail consumer level.

One state, can't recall, recently made a sweeping change which pretty much allows a farmer to direct sale just about anything, all I know is it wasn't my state  :(. Happy cabbage is legal here in a few days, I'm sure there is money to be made the first year but then those things go bust by the next when the commodity folks figure out how to do it at prices that drive the little guy under. I've seen that with more "new" crops than I can count.

The farmers market folks who sell meat get it processed at a USDA facility and then sell at the market, online and from the farm. Some go the whole crunchy granola route and there are customers for that, but for me and most customers it is really more about supporting a local farmer vs supporting Bentonville inc. The problem with selling and processing a whole hog on a pig share type of setup is like someone said, most folks don't have the freezer to take a whole animal, so there is the reason to get it processed for retail sale. That is tough because no one wants a slaughterhouse in their backyard, so we are not getting new ones to support community ag. There is a nut to crack. Most of the butcher shop type operations are buying primal cuts from a USDA facility and then breaking that down, which is another way to custom cut.

A mighty oak is just a determined nut.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline gspren

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2021, 01:19:22 PM »
From what I've seen and been told there are two ways to make money with pigs, either really big factory farm or really small operation doing custom or specialty stuff. I used to buy 10-12 feeder pigs in the spring and they were all sold to people I knew or friends knew, no breeders. Another neighbor that does have breeders and stays small time sells feeder pigs to FFA kids and also to people like me. I had two butcher shops I'd deliver the hogs to and gave people their choice, I charged by hanging weight. I had to stop it cause I was making too much money! :D :D
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2021, 07:18:14 PM »
So im a few tall ones into boys bday down at the river. Will checkc back into the piggery soon. 

;D
Isaiah 63:10

Offline mudfarmer

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2021, 08:11:34 PM »
Mike I have been in the sauce as well and it is starting to rain so I gotta leave the woods now. Lots of thoughts for you...

Offline wiam

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2021, 08:19:14 PM »
We used to farrow piglets. At our most we had 8 sows. Biggest year we sold about 90 piglets. Tried doing spring and fall piglets. Fall piglets do not sell well. The last year we had little ones we had more laid on than we sold. Then the boar went nuts and attacked my wife after beating the hell out of a sow.  Now I gladly pay $100-$125 for piglets. Oh. And castrating piglets sucks. But they wont sell well without.(little or full grown). We sell 6-8 each year that we run through a USDA shop (we have used for many years) we sell 2-3 halfs and the rest goes through farmers markets. We also do beef and maple. We dont use high tensile fence. Single strand electric fence (good fencer) on fiberglass posts is easy to move. With just a few, we keep them trailer trained as in trailer backed up to fence and feed them in there occasionally. When we need to load them I can back trailer in and they get in before I can put grain in. In Vermont the non usda processor cant be selling farmer. 

Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2021, 08:50:09 PM »
All the farmers in my area have given up raising hogs.  Worked for a neighbor who had hogs when I was young, after helping him I did not ever want to raise hogs.  He had 50 sows, and a farrowing house, my job was to feed the sows, and help with castrating and vaccinating.  Used to back the truck up to the pen with the buckets full of grain, and jump out the back and run to feed the grain, to avoid the sows out in the open pen.  Then wondered why my back was hurting. 2-5 gallon buckets at a time. One time his kid was riding a sow, and the sow bucked him off and then threw him up in the air by the seat of his pants. The kid was about 6, and wasn't hurt.
Most everything I enjoy doing turns out to be work

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #30 on: June 26, 2021, 09:18:57 PM »
I know little to nothing of hog markets but I do know that if finishing them out for slaughter most customers aren't going to like the taste of "forage finished" pork. They are accustomed to the ideally mixed grain ration pork grown by Smithfield. There are buyers out there for forage finished pork just like grass finished beef, but they take time to find and cultivate.



Offline barbender

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #31 on: June 26, 2021, 09:24:07 PM »
Me and a buddy raised a few hogs once, just for our own use. We just gave them the hog feed we got from the local co-OP, raised on a pig pen (not pasture raised). That meat tasted good, but it had a slight "pig pen" odor. I don't know if anyone else noticed it, but I did. I believe it was the next year, hog markets crashed and we went to a sale barn and bought 260 pound finished hogs for $65. And they tasted way better🤷🏽‍♂️
Too many irons in the fire

Online doc henderson

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #32 on: June 26, 2021, 09:42:09 PM »
it is a fair amount of work to kill, gut, skin and butcher a hog.  took us 4 hours to do two.  a group of 4 guys with a older guy that was instructing us , one pig at a time, two swine at a total.  we  put the meat on the smoker for 12 hours.  and then divided it and we all vacuum sealed it. 50 bucks each for the pigs at 300 pounds.  but a lot of 'bloody" work.  we sent the bellies to a processor to make bacon for a price.

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Online pigman

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #33 on: June 26, 2021, 10:50:39 PM »
I know nothing about hogs. I have not touched a live hog in 20 years, but I did have 100 sows in a farrow to finish operaton for 15 years.  I quit not because of low price or lack of a market. I quit because of government  inviromental regulations. You either have to be large enough to buy off government or small enough to not be noticed. I was the wrong size.
Things turn out best for people who make the best of how things turn out.

Offline Bradm

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #34 on: June 26, 2021, 11:01:17 PM »
I'm the son of a butcher, grandson of a butcher, brother to 2 butchers, nephew to a few more, and cousin of yet another butcher.  You could say that I know a few butchers.  Locally, I could set up a shop tomorrow and have enough work booked to fill out the rest of the year before the end of the day.

If you can get into an existing building, I think you might be better off setting up a full service abattoir.  It's one of the only businesses that is recession proof.  A quick Google search brought up this: https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/consumers/food-safety/ag-farms-food-manufacturing-and-warehousing/ag-businesses-custom-slaughter/slaughter-license.html and that's the best place to start.  Unless you're looking at export than USDA may be overkill for day to day operations.

With the right setup, 2 people can slaughter about 50 pigs in a day (6-7 per hour), let em hang (drip out/chill) overnight, and process over the next 2 to 3 days.  Add in the ability to setup a stall at a local farmer's market and you can start some retail sales as well.  Slaughter is messy and smelly and it's hard work but it can pay well if the shop is well managed.

I do think that right now is a good time to start a butcher shop if one is so inclined.  Given the events of the last year and a half, both Covid and ransomware (if I remember correctly), look at how much capacity was taken out due to shutdowns and extortion; not to mention the fact that the big plants don't want to deal with the hobby farmer who raises a few a year for their own freezer.  There may even be some government grants available to help get started.

Offline wiam

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #35 on: June 26, 2021, 11:23:05 PM »
https://sugarmtnfarm.com/
This guy has a lot of information in his blog

Offline mike_belben

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2021, 12:28:38 AM »
Mike, you got a lot of negative opinions about your original idea and you also seem to arguing against it but are yet seeming determined. So when do you start the project?  
Youre right gary.  Oh so many good reason not to do this at all.  And maybe a few good reasons in favor.  Hard to say, im of two minds about it.


Its the size of the commitment.  Seems all or none for it to not just become another bill.  Being already stretched too thin, with too many other chores and commitments.. Do i make more?


There are many reasons why i need to stay close to home and without any defined schedule.  There are few ways to make any money at that without inviting lots of customers to your house who may well want your stuff, dont want customers coming to my home anymore.  

Pigs seem to check a lot of boxes but i dont need another hobby.  Theres gotta be a couple bucks in it for certain.  Is there any money in half ashing it?  Doubtful.  Do i want to go convert the woods i love to a bright sunny field for a half hearted attempt?  Will i have cutters remorse?    

I go back and forth.  I like a challenge and have done many things outside my comfort zone at first but raising critters isnt really one of em. Im out of my element in livestock.  Only in hindsight does the correct woulda coulda shoulda path reveal itself and i dont have the energy to waste or bounce back that i once did.  My competive nature has faded.
Isaiah 63:10

Offline mike_belben

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2021, 12:44:15 AM »
@Bradm  

Thanks for the valuable perspective.  Ive said to my wife quite a few times.. We need more slaughter/butcher operations around here because the appointment waits are really hurting several small beef producers we know. 

 So that was what got me looking deeper into it, the opportunity is knocking.  That i have no real idea what im doing never stopped me from dicing a deer or teaching myself any other thing i felt like doing... But what really made me say no was the realization that suddenly id have no life.. Poof, carve meat all day every day to keep customers happy.  When do i find time to build the house i promised the wife or machines me and boy are building?  Nope.  Cant go back on my word.  


Ive read far beyond what you linked but never have found the exact guidelines and procedures laid out by said commission for custom slaughter.  To me, you can still be a hobby guy here and there with a custom slaughter license.    Been months and im foggy on it now but most documents i could find were about who is and isnt usda exempt, what custom slaughterers cant do, defining altered parts and resale etc etc.  Never found the specific guidelines on facility, procedures etc.  

There is no question the startup costs are beyond me at this point.  Just fencing pens is gonna take me quite a while to afford. 
Isaiah 63:10

Online doc henderson

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2021, 09:53:33 AM »
Mike it seems you like to be self sufficient (understated).  get a couple piglets and raise them up with the kids and then (if they will let you) harvest in the fall and at least you have a new avenue to put meat in the freezer.  anything we all try to do to make money enough for the family, turns into real work.  Any business that involves animals over many months will potentially exhaust you and keep you up at night.  you know all this, and it echo's what I think you may have concluded.  you could get a job in a local custom meat processor, but now you have a day job.  Best regards, Doc.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: You filthy swine!
« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2021, 11:09:33 AM »
Yes, youve summarized it well doc.  


So ive just wisened up about smithfield foods.  What an absolutely disgusting conglomerate.  Wikipedia claims they were instrumental in putting about 600 THOUSAND small pork producers out of business since 1980 in north carolina alone.  Thats hard to even fathom.  

Whats worse, smithfield owns many many brands and china owns smithfield entirely.  Largest chinese acquisition of a US company in history.  Not buying that anymore. 


Isaiah 63:10


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