“I have 8 finished pigs, would you like them?”

John has lost count of the number of times he has been contacted by people and asked the above question. Very occasionally, he can oblige but more often than not he can’t because he is working ahead. He knows what pigs he has, what stage of finishing they are at, what orders he is likely to have and how many finished pigs he needs this week.

On our pig keeping course we stress the need to be clear just what the end result of your pig keeping enterprise will be and to plan. So, for example you buy an in pig sow and she has a litter of ten, what are you going to do with the litter? It is no good finishing them all to pork weight then thinking, “what am I going to do with all that pork?” When you have weaned what are you going to do about getting her back in pig if you don’t keep a boar?

Most people start with a couple of weaners to finish for the freezer but again you need to think about an abattoir, who will cut them up, have you got the freezer space etc.etc.

With all this in mind we are running a butchery course on the 23rd of October. We will spend the morning at the farm looking at feeding and finishing the pigs then assessing the carcase on the hoof before going off to Aireys Butchers at Ayside in the afternoon. Here we will be able to take a look at the slaughter facility (not in work) and then looking at butchering.

There will be the opportunity to compare British Saddlebacks, Hampshires, Oxford, Sandy and Blacks, British Lops and Welsh. So, a mixture of traditional and modern breeds.

We will also be able to taste some of John’s tasty pork pies and should you wish to take home some pork please let us know in advance.

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