Friday, 11 September 2009
On Monday we took the two Tamworth boars to the abattoir. They were the youngest we have ever sent pigs off, just 23 weeks, but we were anxious about boar taint. Unnecessarily so as it turns out.
At the weekend we tagged them and fixed a race from their paddock to the gateway and trailer, so on Monday morning all we had to do was quietly walk them up the ramp. All Sunday night it absolutely poured down, but thankfully they had spent the night inside and by the time we arrived at the slaughter house they were clean and dry, thanks to the straw in the trailer. So much easier than sheep !
The loading went well, despite the rain, fog and darkness. We tend to make the journey as early as possible so we are home in time to do the other livestock before work at 8.00 am. This means loading at 5. 30 am and we were surprised how dark it was. We didn't manage to get away quietly I'm afraid, so apologies to all the neighbours. On arriving at the yard all the pigs started squealing in anticipation of a meal, this set the sheep and geese off and by 6.00 am just as we were leaving the cockerels began crowing.... sorry !!
The journey went smoothly if somewhat quietly, with neither of us talking. I think we both hold our breath until they are safely unloaded.
The pigs looked well and compared favourably to others already there. There was no phone call to say the meat was condemned, no reason why it should be, but it is always a worry of mine. Along with escaping on the journey, being too fat, too thin etc. etc.
Yesterday we collected four boxes of nice looking pork. The chops were slightly fattier than we expected, yet there was very little fat on the leg and shoulder joints or belly .We are not experienced enough to know if this is typical of the breed or down to how we fed them, but we do need to be careful of the two gilts we are running on for bacon.
From this.. to this in just a few short months !