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Starting early this year as the weather had worsened by the end of last season. Mabel (sob, good pig that one) was the last to go. Saved by a week after her sprint from the trailer. But that made it even harder.

 

Anyhow. Prepping the new site took a lot of effort as we have had pretty miserable weather for a few weeks.

Getting the pig ark out from the mud was really difficult. Going to have to mount it on pallets in future. So spent a few hours prising it up and putting bricks under, then pallets.

 

I did try towing with my trusty Land Rover to begin with but the grass was too wet and maybe the tyres weren't knobbly enough.

Even the low box couldn't shift it.

So I used a more suitable tool.

 

Tractor%20tow%20chain_zpsxbxatybc.jpg

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Bought a piglet other week,in a pig club a saddleback I wanted a smaller piglet ,missus picked biggest,hopefully wont get to fatty.

They going to build pen near far shop so it's easier to see them, exciting times ahead first time we had our own pork.

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Bought half a pig a while back and the taste was out standing. A world apart from the shop bought stuff. When I get a joint out the oven and turn me back to sort the veg its bye bye crackling. Wife and kids are more sneaky than the dam cocker

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we did some saddleback x old spot a few years back and they were outstanding! but got a bit attached and kept them a tad to long as you do lol there was about 2" of fat at least! might see if I can do one or 2 at this new house when I get the field sorted out.

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Ready%20for%20Pigs_zpsjezjxhrf.jpg

 

Windbreak assembled. Pigs need shade and shelter from the wind. I still have to put boards on the pallets, but it is mostly there. I have sunk shallow trugs into the ground for water. Not too deep as the piggies are little at this stage.

 

new%20pigs2_zpsgszdhxun.jpg

 

 

And here they are

Tamworth/Berkshire Cross. Gives a good balance of meat to fat while not slow growing. I expect these will go for slaughter in November. Shame as ever.

I will be expecting them to reach about 18 stone.

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Last couple of pigs i reared i was told by the local butcher to kill them out at around 14 stone as after that they get too fatty,as said some difference in free range and what you get in the supermarket.I fed mine on bags of fruit and veg i got for free local and then also bags of meal and they tasted lovely.

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Last couple of pigs i reared i was told by the local butcher to kill them out at around 14 stone as after that they get too fatty,as said some difference in free range and what you get in the supermarket.I fed mine on bags of fruit and veg i got for free local and then also bags of meal and they tasted lovely.

a bloke i used know kept pigs, and fed them norm type grub , but added apples in as well, the meat was great , it really added flavor to the meat :thumbs::yes:

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we did some saddleback x old spot a few years back and they were outstanding! but got a bit attached and kept them a tad to long as you do lol there was about 2" of fat at least! might see if I can do one or 2 at this new house when I get the field sorted out.

 

You can put that thick back fat to good use, it's the fat of choice for black puddings, salamis and ordinary sausages as well. I used to buy half pigs from a smallholding but they were slaughtered young and consequently had hardly any back fat to, appease those who wanted lean meat.

 

Have a google for Italian/Tuscan 'Lardo', something I always wanted to have a go at curing but never ever got any back fat that even came close to being suitable

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Worn%20Ground%20007_zpsypbegjc1.jpg

 

They have made their mark already.

 

I was initially nervous about the fat ratio, and my two Gloucester Old Spots in Pig Year 1 certainly had a generous fat content. But.. yummy, it added so much flavour.

Last year's (Pig Year 2) Tamworth/Berkshire Cross, ranged from 16 to 19 stone. The meat had less fat on it but is still really nice. It was the same butcher but better cuts and vacuum packed this time as opposed to freezer bagged the first time. The meat does look like I have raided a farm shop.

 

I am hanging two large hams in my spare room. These were initially packed in brine and refrigerated for 3 weeks.

I then rinsed them off and wrapped them in muslin.

I have checked them and replaced the muslin after some leakage but they appear to be fine.

 

Not sure if I have a time scale for these, maybe when I can be arsed, or if someone comes to stay.

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They got a good life too. Happy pig is a tasty pig lol

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I tried them on brewer's spent barley today. They weren't sure about it.

From what I have read, it is fine for them but you have to mix it with something else as it can give them proper constipation, and we don't want that.

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it's a bit late now but next time cut there nuts off if your going to get them to 16/18 stone.that will make the meat taste better.i'm not saying all pigs but when some pigs reach about 110kg dead weight you can taste it's from a boar.

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We were worried about 'boar taint' and some butchers won't deal with boars at all in my locality but after doing some research and speaking to the Environmental Officer, it looks like in the main this is caused by pigs under duress. For instance overcrowding, or transported across the country.

I am sure it does exist but I have boars and gilts in my freezer and you just can't tell and none of last year's members reported any 'off smelling' or 'off tasting' meat.

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