Raising Pigs for Meat: A Third Year Review

For a quick trip down memory lane, here is our First Year , lessons learned & Second Year blogs. Also available is a blog about Cost Of Raising Pork & a Why We Raise Pork.

Also, sorry this blog is ohhhh 6 months late. We had the pigs butchered in October and here is is March… it’s been a really different sort of winter.

  1. We didn’t get local pigs- because of the surge of local people deciding to raise their own pork this year, and a bad breeding year for local farmers, price of local stock went up and availability went down. Thankfully we were able to find pigs for a relatively normal price from the feed store in Houlton. Problem being they were from Pennsylvania, had a long, rough ride and got here scratched up, bruised and sickly. They bounced back quickly under my care- but We’re not sure it’s an experience we want to repeat.
  2. We got 5- we raised the two we normally raise for ourselves, one for my parents and
  3. We raised 2 for other families- obviously, people that have the land (and time) to raise pigs for themselves weren’t the only ones concerned about filling a freezer or two last year. We charged $600- no butchering included. I will explore this topic on another blog, but suffice to say, it was interesting. And kind of stressful. But mostly ok. We’ll probably do it again.
  4. We kept them until mid October but that wasn’t even the plan- our original butcher stopped taking my phonecalls. I kept at them for 2 WEEKS beyond our original drop off plan before finally starting to call other butchers. And that was awful. Thankfully I found someone close by that could squeeze us in-
  5. We are now considering doing the butchering ourselves. After 158 chickens this summer, I feel like a pig wouldn’t be a huge deal. I just really don’t know about the killing part. Meat Chickens kinda need to be slaughtered or they start to suffer and their organs fail. Pigs aren’t like that at all and I kind of love them. It’s always really hard to see them go.
  6. Also we’ve decided to try our hand at doing pigs in the fall this next season. Which I hope to talk about in another blog soon.

Otherwise- this year was a lot like any other. They broke out of their fences every other day by the end, and we were, as always, happy and sad to see them go.

This was their favorite part to destroy- so I laid out this blockade until we took them in.

Lastly, we’ve been able to purchase a smoker & a deli slicer, so we’ve started doing all our own brining and smoking. A huge savings in the processing part and also a lot of fun if you’re into that sort of thing. We bought a meat grinder attachment for our kitchen aid and plan on doing our own sausage next.

I hope all my readers had a nice winter- and I hope you all have a wicked good day.


Published by gillisgardensllc

This is the official website for Gillis Gardens, LLC. Gillis Gardens is a farm, run by myself and my wonderful husband. We believe in biodiversity, organic growing methods and doing things ourselves. I knit, crochet, make jewelry and sew. MrGillis builds, doing everything from our plumbing to our mechanical to our renovations. We are both active members of our little community. We both take care of the plants and animals. He weeds, I harvest. He spreads manure, I plant. We raise multiple breeds of chickens for eggs and meat. We have a herd of Alpacas that we shear every year for their beautiful fiber, which we then have milled into ultra luxurious yarn. We make our own maple syrup, preserves and pickles. We raise bees for honey and herbs for medicine. We also raise pigs for meat and fun. We are the parents of two young children, and consider that our most important job. Follow our adventures here and also on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: