Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hillbilly Ingenuity: New Hog Processing Equipment

REMINDER: "Processing" refers to everything that happens to the pig between its slaughter and being ready for cooking. Discretion is advised.


We really stepped up production on pigs this year. Instead of 3 or 4 for the whole season, we are acquiring hogs for breeding, for butchering, and for whole roasting. We have named some of the animals and even brought in partners to help keep things going physically and financially. Our little farm is turning into a real operation.

We are slaughtering and butchering 5 pigs this week, so a better setup was needed. The men put together a bigger, better processing rig that solves many of the issues of the previous arrangement. They started by lashing a large log to two tall trees in the side yard. This new beam is not only far higher than the old metal frame, but it is more secure and even more aesthetically pleasing, since it looks like just another tree when not in use. That makes me very happy.

Very Stealthy, No?

Ergonomically speaking, this system is way ahead of the last. The animals now hang at chest level for easy cleaning and gutting. The low-to-the-ground processing stone has been replaced by a normal height counter top that was salvaged from a kitchen refurbishment and built onto a useful stand. They even welded a barrel stand out of angle-iron that is at a far steeper angle for easier dipping.

Iron Stand for 55 Gallon Dipping Drum
Similar Stand in the Rear for Heating Water

The overall setup is really very impressive:

I'm Very Proud of Them

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