Pig Weighing – The scales never lie or do they?

You know when you have that mad moment and think, “I’ll just hop on the scales and see how light I am” and having knocked the dust off the scales you step on only to think, “That can’t be right!”

Well, on a recent pig keeping course that happened to John and I whilst we were weighing some pigs.

The idea is we put a mixture of traditional and modern pigs onto the scales and see who is the nearest to estimating the actual weight. It is very useful to show people the size of a finished pig, whether it is a Saddleback, British Lop or a Hampshire. It also is good fun guessing the weight and people get very good at it, very quickly.

However, on a recent course we popped a very, well grown Hampshire Gilt onto the scales. John and I both estimated around 140 and 150 kilo’s with other estimates varying over the 100 kilo mark. We were very surprised when Harry, John’s grandson who was hiding the weight, revealed she was around 103 kilo’s.

Disbelieving, John gave the pig scales a good shake, declaring two weeks earlier the pig had weighed more than that. Even after a good shake the scales didn’t move.

Volunteer needed! Someone who knew his or her weight or more importantly, was prepared to tell everyone. We didn’t make the nice lady crawl into the scales but she gamely climbed onto the top and the scales were spot on.

Anyway, having decided something was wrong but not knowing what we moved on. A couple of days later John rang to admit, I mean tell me, the scales were only set to weigh up to 100 kilo’s! And actually the pig weighed 145K. I am not sure he was more pleased he had got the scales working or that his prize Hampshire wasn’t shrinking.

At our Butchery Course in October we will be weighing lots of pigs, Saddlebacks, Hampshires and British Lops to give people a good idea what size they need to aim for in their finished pigs both Modern and Traditional Breeds.

We will be also visiting Airey’s Abattoir and Butchers to take a look at their slaughter facilities and cutting up and processing finished pigs.

For more details go to courses.

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