James took the Gloucester Old Spot boys to the abattoir early this morning. They were born to a free-ranging sow in August on a lovely care farm very near here and they lived a wonderful free-range life outside with us. However, they were getting big and frisky and we don’t want two pet boars so it was time to go to university!
This weekend we spent some time getting them happy with going in and out of the trailer – This involves feeding them in the trailer. But to initially get them in we use the bucket of power (that always contains treats or food) to lure them in and then out.
We also slapmarked them with our number. This involves basically tattooing them with a set of sharp points and ink. However, it doesn’t seem to hurt them at all. We do it while they are eating and they don’t break stride – they do however yelp when they touch the electric fence – by way of comparison.
We take them to a small, old-school abattoir behind a butchers on the main street of a small local town. They only kill on Mondays and basically kill and butcher their own animals for the butchers shop and also a few smallholders’ animals. We get there early so our pigs are killed right after the butchers 4 or 6 pigs. We wait and collect the blood, then come home.
I am always sad to see them go but this is part of the process. I am glad we gave them a good life and the best death we can – thank you for feeding us and our campers pigs – nothing will be wasted or thrown away.
I will make the blood into black pudding, the bones and skin will go to Kainaat, the trotters will be used to make trotter gear for onion gravy in the winter, the liver will go into terrines, the head will be made into stock for split pea soup, we will keep the cheeks and tenderloin for stews and stir fries, I will cure one belly into pancetta, and the loin and other belly will be made into bacon and with the rest becoming sausages it will be for sale to lovely people who want to eat free-range, small scale, local, rarebreed pork.
N.B. We keep the Ixworths in the pig field as they do a great job of pest control.
N.B. gratuitous photo of our landrover with straw in the back – this weekend we put together the maternity-wing for the sheep – more on that later….