Thursday, December 22, 2011


Today I will change a direction of the blog to talk about a different venture I had with my friend Tom. Last winter, Tom and I were off to the Nebraska Sustainable Ag Society's winter conference and had a conversation about raising hogs, and how much better tasting home grown food is compared to what we get in the grocery store. He decided that we should raise a couple of hogs for meat. I thought that sounded like a great idea and proceeded to source some excellent weaned pigs. As a couple of weeks passed, it was decided that we should raise 6, and sell 4 of them when they are grown. By the way, Tom's wife blamed all of this on me, and Tom let her... 


My son Jake and I drove up to Larry and Lanette Stec's farm near Monroe, NE picked up the young porkers on July 22nd. The six weaned pigs averaged 62 pounds I think. I have to check my records on this little tidbit.
These little pigs quickly grew and proved to be excellent "doers."  We marketed the pigs to some of our friends. I had responsibility to sell 2 and Tom needed to sell 2. I was fortunate to find 3 people I work with to take a leap of faith. One of the guys bought a whole and the other two split one.
As the months passed, they grew quickly and it was time to schedule a date with the locker. As it turned out we couldn't get the hogs into the locker until the 1st of December due to deer season. The locker doesn't take livestock during the month of November due to the large number of deer that they process.
So on November 30th, I drove out to Tom and Brenda's with the trailer in tow. Loading 6 large hogs on the trailer turned out to be quite an adventure. The porkers that seemed to look for an exit point for months, decided that leaving the pen wasn't such a good idea anymore and created a bit of a challenge for us. Long story short, we got them loaded and let them rest in the trailer for the night. We were hoping to reduce as much stress as possible, and wanted them loaded so that we could drop them off first thing in the morning.
So the next morning I headed back out so that Tom and I could haul them off to Wahoo for processing. One would think that as much trouble as we had loading them on the trailer, off loading might be easier. Not so much!  It took us a little while to get them off, but once the first one got out, the rest soon followed. There were 3 others already there when we arrived, and ours were about 1/3 bigger, and I started wondering if we had let ours get too big. Too late now.


The average on the final weight was about 340. The pigs have all been processed and picked up by all the buyers from the locker. The Wahoo Locker did an excellent job cutting, curing and smoking. So far, only compliments from the buyers. The locker told us these were some really nice hogs, and they weren't too big. In fact, I asked to have the fat saved so I can make some lard and have some to grind with deer meat. I only got about 12 pounds of fat from my hog, and Tom only got 25 pounds from two hogs.
Tom has already found a feeder for next year, so I guess we are going to do this again. It was a good experience, and the small amount that I have eaten so far has tasted excellent. Maybe we will do 10 next year? Who knows, I guess we will have to wait and see.
So now our families get to enjoy some excellent pork that we know all about. I think they had a good life with plenty of sunshine and plenty of food.


  1. When I used to raise pigs, I would feed them straight cracked corn the last few weeks. It would lean them out and made the flavor great!!

  2. We used a finisher feed all the way to the end. We didn't want a pig that was too lean, becasue we believe the fat is where the flavor really is...

  3. Our pig is great! Thanks for setting this all up Mike.