Monday, 22 December 2014

Keeping the freezer stocked.

When you grow your own livestock for the freezer there are often gluts and lulls. You do try to avoid it, but its not always possible. And as we come toward the end of our pork supplies from our last pig and following the disappointment of losing not only our first ever piglet (bred here), but not actually keeping one to grow ourselves (due to committing to sales). We decided to purchase a couple of 'porkers' for the freezer- Meet 'Fennel' (the bigger boy) and 'Mustard'.

Fennel is a Berkshire cross; crossed with a Tamworth, so faster growing (hopefully). It will be interesting to compare a Berkshire cross to our usual pork. As we often sell to those planning on using them this way and have had a Berkshire x Saddleback in the past, with good results.. Though its not something we will be pursuing. 

Whilst Mustard is a pure Berkshire barrow (castrated male)... not our choice, but as he was for the freezer we weren't bothered either way. We don't usually castrate for ourselves, though I appreciate they are generally easier to sell this way.  Maybe this way he may be able to live a little longer, along side our bore without too much trouble.


Fennel being older and hopefully a little faster growing should reach kill size sooner. But don't worry we do not plan for Mustard to be alone, as we have put a deposit on a sow (piglet, from another bloodline) to be collected early next year. This should help with our future pork supply.



In the mean time our freezer consists of beef. Betty our remaining original cow finally met her destiny... after many reprieves.
It was more than time, and we were running out of grazing and were exhausting our hay stocks. Not that we mind feeding the animals. And we had finally got around to dividing the paddock; allowing us to rotate the cattle. But without rain there just wasn't enough for 3 and it was Betty's time.

I did write up a piece on butchering your own beef when we processed Betty's sister Susie over 16 months ago. 

http://www.maes-y-delyn.com/2013/08/our-first-cow-in-freezer-step-by-step.html



To be honest the boys did this one without my help, as we currently have visitors and we're juggling the care of our 3 month old baby. But I will still aim to write up a piece in detail, as they did still take a few pictures for me.