- Where are the animals processed?
There are two types of processing facilities – USDA inspected facilities and custom facilities. If you would like to be able to resell the meat (i.e. if you are buying an animal for your restaurant or food cart) you have to have the animal processed at a USDA facility. There is a USDA facility in Moriarity that can process and package meat, and a facility in Mountainair that can currently only slaughter hogs, but unlike the other facility will scald and scrape the animal, leaving the skin attached. Alternatively, we will deliver animals to the custom cut facility of your choice (Mathews meats in Belen would be our recommendation). We are not legally permitted to do any processing on the farm. If you would like to process the animal yourself, please contact us and we can make arrangements.
- How much does processing cost?
It varies considerably on where the processing is done and if you want bacon and smoked hams etc. Generally the slaughter costs around $75 and each pound of hanging weight costs another $.65-$.85 for processing. For your standard sized hog it usually comes out to around $1/lb of the live weight of the animal to have the animal fully butchered and packaged into a variety of cuts including sausage, bacon, and ground pork.
The USDA facility in Mountainair charges $80 to kill, scald, and hang an animal for several days.
The USDA facility in Moriarity charges $75 to kill, skin, and hang an animal for several days.
If you are looking for an affordable way to feed your family healthy meat, we would strongly recommend learning to process yourself. We will be happy to help you start down that path.
- How long from when I order till the animal is ready?
This will depend on the availability of the preferred processor and the type of processing to be done. If the preferred processor is readily available and you are purchasing the whole carcass for your restaurant, we can have a hog delivered in as little as a week, though we recommend planning on 2-3 weeks to allow for any delays in scheduling, and for 5-7 days of hang time.
If you want to have the animal processed and want bacon and cured hams, plan on at least 2-3 weeks and possibly as much as 6 weeks, again depending on the availability of your preferred processor and the time of year. During the fall and peak hunting season you can expect all these lead times to double or triple.
- How much meat will I get?
Again, there is quite a bit of variability, but average yields in finished cuts is generally a bit less than half of the live weight, or 2/3 of the hanging weight, if you remove the skin and discount the head, organs, and fat. So off a 250lb animal you might expect 125-150lbs of meat. If you plan on using the skin, fat, organs, etc. the yields are more like 2/3 of the live weight.
- How does transportation work?
There are several options. If you have a trailer and want to pick up the animal yourself, we can weigh and load the animal onto your trailer. If you prefer, we will deliver the animal to a processor of your choice for a flat fee of $50/animal, and you will have to pick the meat up and pay for the processing. For repeat orders on USDA hogs processed in Mountainair, we will also include picking up and delivering split carcasses to your restaurant or commercial kitchen as part of the $50 delivery fee.
- What is the difference between skin on and skin off?
There are several factors to consider in choosing skin on or skin off. If you want to make chicharrones you will have to have skin on. If you want to do any dry aging (curing a ham to make prosciutto, for instance) you will also benefit greatly from leaving the skin on. Generally leaving the skin on is thought to improve the quality of the meat. The down side is that most processors will not scald a scrape hogs, because without specialized equipment it is quite labor intensive. Hence, if you want to have the animal processed into cuts at any facility besides Mountainair, skin on is not an option.
- Why is this meat so expensive compared to what you can buy in the store?
Our prices reflect the real cost of ethically and environmentally sustainable meat production. The truth is that all meat production comes at a high cost. The industrialized, corporate meat production model shifts much of the true cost of meat production away from the consumer and onto the animals, farmers, the health of the end consumer, the tax payers, and the environment.
We do have a sliding scale system for people who live in our community that want to feed their families with anti-biotic free, corn/soy free meat for health reasons. If eating healthy meat is important to you and your family don’t let our prices scare you, we can work something out.
Yes. We will happily sell a half share. If you would like to buy a quarter share, we ask that you find someone to go in on a half share with you so you can divvy up the cuts yourself.
- How much space does a whole pig take up in the freezer?
A 300 lb hog fully processed will fill most of a small (3ft) chest freezer or half fill a large (5 ft) chest freezer. A half of a smaller (200lb) pig can be squeezed into a large above-the-refrigerator freezer compartment.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include if you need the meat to be USDA inspected, what your preferred processor is if you have one, and a telephone number we can reach you at.
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