Processing a culled sow

Discussion in 'Pig and Poultry' started by Oaktree herd, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Oaktree herd

    Oaktree herd New Member

    During November we tried to find out if we could make good use of our sow. Having searched the internet we got good and bad info. We decided we would find out for ourselves. After she was slaughtered she went on the hook at 430 dressed. We collected her from the abertoir and couldn’t believe how good the carcass was. She had hardly any back fat from top to bottom. We let her hang for 4 days and butchered her for the next 3 days. It was a pleasure to do this. She had a fantastic carcass. The following is a list of what we recovered after completely boning out the carcass.

    120lbs of sausage
    80lbs streaky and best bacon
    70lbs gammon slices
    40lbs spare ribs
    A 50lb Parma ham
    20 haslet’s at 1.5lbs each
    3 x 2lb joints
    10 x 2lb browns
    Offal ie tongue, heart, liver, kidneys, fry fat

    We worked all this out against supermarket prices which would have cost us approx £1500.

    A value to the sow market had we had sold her would have been about £100.

    It cost from weaning to culling to bring her into good condition - £100.
    We have since tried the bacon, sausages, offal and a joint all has been the best pork meat we have ever eaten.

    We thought we would put this on a forum as we couldn’t find anything constructive on the internet.

    Anyone interested in getting in touch for further info please reply to this post
    br jones, Andyt880, JCMaloney and 5 others like this.
  2. Greenbeast

    Greenbeast Member

    East Sussex
    out of interest where was she slaughtered? We're looking for an abattoir to handle cull sows for us
  3. Suffolk Serf

    Suffolk Serf Member


    You might well be ahead of the game, we're going to need people to process cull sows in the UK after 29th March. Currently they're all processed abroad.
  4. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

    You seem to have got very few joints out of it.
  5. Oaktree herd

    Oaktree herd New Member

    We got all our joints, chops etc from another pig previous week and due to a lot of info found on internet about sow meat we didn’t need anymore joints chops or slices so turned her into the list above
  6. Oaktree herd

    Oaktree herd New Member

    It’s local and we’ve known for many years so help us out.
  7. Jobjobbed

    Jobjobbed New Member

    How old was she?
  8. Greenbeast

    Greenbeast Member

    East Sussex
    Did they skin her?
    Is usually the dehairing/scalding machine that has a weight limit. So either they have a machine man enough or they skinned the carcass
  9. Oaktree herd

    Oaktree herd New Member

    We do all that ourselves
  10. Oaktree herd

    Oaktree herd New Member

    She was 5 years old
  11. Greenbeast

    Greenbeast Member

    East Sussex
    So they opened up the carcass and left the outside unshaved and unskinned?
    Very odd for a professional place, hey ho, lucky for you i guess
  12. Poorbuthappy

    Poorbuthappy Member

    What cost would you put on the processing?
    If you were charging to do it for someone else any idea what it would have to be?
  13. Oaktree herd

    Oaktree herd New Member

    When we process a large pig for home use only, we do it to maximise the value of the animal. If we had sold the sow we would have probably only got £100 however once we had processed her, based on supermarket prices, she achieved approx £1500.
    That would have been for standard meat. What we achieved was specialist meat with no medicines and no additives. Therefore as a retired couple cost doesn’t come into our equation.
    If we had asked a butcher to produce the same meat from our sow, the sausages and bacon alone would have cost £300 without the culling and cutting costs. We made many more products ie haslets, pigs fries, a few joints, gammon slices and joints, brawns, a huge Parma ham etc.
    To process a large pig that weighs in at over 400lbs has to be a specialist butchering job. It took us 4 days.
    A normal porker pig we would have done it in much less time.
    Therefore it would be cost prohibitive unless you do it yourselves. Having good meat knowing where it comes from and don’t count in your own time.
    Sorry this is rather long winded but there is no real answer to your question apart from very expensive.
    It has to be because you want to produce something special and more importantly enjoy doing it.
  14. Poorbuthappy

    Poorbuthappy Member

    I asked from the point of view of commercial viability rather than thinking you should cost it for yourself.
    We put a young sow all into sausages and could have sold them (90kgs worth) twice over. My daughter just has a few pigs for "pocket money" but would be interested in scaling up just a little.
    Direct marketing is quite a lot of work though and it's quite a step to go from supplying a few friends and family to making it commercially viable.
  15. Oaktree herd

    Oaktree herd New Member

    Did you make your own sausages or did butcher do them?
  16. Poorbuthappy

    Poorbuthappy Member

    Neighbour at mate's rates. He is processing a lot of poultry and makes chicken sausages and burgers so is set up for it.
  17. Wolds Beef

    Wolds Beef Member

    That reminds me of when we were old boys, we used to help mum and dad do the odd pig in a little slaughterhouse on the farm. This was in the 60/70 and father knew a retired slaughterman/butcher. I have spent a while with an old copper boiling water and taking the hair with old tools to scuff the hair of!! Super meat though, flitches hung on the hooks in the kitchen!
    davieh3350 likes this.

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