Age at slaughter

All aspects of raising and using kunekunes for meat.
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Koen
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Age at slaughter

Post by Koen » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:41 pm

Hello,

I've got two litters of Kune's (5+8) and our intention always has been to raise at least some for meat.
I read in the other threads that the best age for slaughter is 8-10 months. Why is this the best age? For economic reasons or gastronomic reasons? Or both?

Economics is not my main reason so I was wondering if the meat would be any good, of even better maybe, if the would be slaughtered at 3-5 months.
Did any of you tried this? For regular big pigs, suckling pigs are considered as very tasteful. They should give leaner meat but less of it.

My idea was to 'harvest' 2 pigs every month and keep 2 for 8 months so they would be fattier for sausages.

Thx for your replies about this!
K

simon
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Re: Age at slaughter

Post by simon » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:51 pm

You can butcher at any age. The younger you butcher the more tender the meat. But the older, and the more chance its had to live and eat grass, the more flavour and colour you get. Its a different thing to commercial pork, that some people don't think to be pork when served it.
I would consider a suckling kunekune to be very small indeed. At 3-5months they would still be small, and a long way from suckling. Its not so much a commercial decision as a 'why bother'. When 8-12months old they would be of a size where you would get a reasonable amount of meat.
But give it a go and see what happens.

Another consideration is the seasons. If your piglets are born now, they might have access to lots of spring grass next year.

Koen
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Re: Age at slaughter

Post by Koen » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:04 am

Thank you for your reply.

There are also some logistic reasons: if I want a new litter in march-april, it would be best in my situation to have sold (or eaten) the previous litter.

It is hard to find a estimation of the weight of the pigs on different ages. I found they should reach 10 kilo on 2 months and around 50 kilo at 10 months.
So they should gain 5 kilo a month?

You are right when you say: "Why bother?" but on the other hand it is still just a hobby for me. We'll give it a try.

simon
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Re: Age at slaughter

Post by simon » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:11 am

You will find that different pigs will grow at different rates. Look forward to hearing how you get on.

The Rushbury Pig
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Re: Age at slaughter

Post by The Rushbury Pig » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:10 pm

I find piglets in a kunekune litter vary far more widely in size and weight than in the larger traditional breeds so it is harder to say take at a specific weight/age as I do with my Berkshires. Also, my sows are all various sizes too so it is harder to say exactly what age and also at what weight!

I would also recommend not taking them in Jan/Feb and Mar as they often carry more fat as they have kept themselves naturally warm by layering with fat. You can reduce this by insulating an ark (put a false roof in and layer with straw) but it has a limited affect.

Personally, I don't take until they are 12 months old, but many of my KK are fairly small but there are many others who do between 8 to 12 months.

As Simon says, I would just try it and see what works best for you, as it is a hobby this probably the best approach

I understand that you would like to have cleared one litter before the next arrives as space can be at a premium but if you wanted to space out taking them you could do select the larger pigs first and then grow the smaller ones on for longer if you can manage within the time span between litters.

There are people who specialise more on keeping for meat on the forum, I will try and get them to check out this post :wink:
Cheerio for now, Sam Jones :-)

BKKPS Chairperson
Email : samjonesbkkps@aol.com
Tel: 0845 489 5863, leaving a message for the secretary who will forward to me.

The Rushbury Pig
Posts: 263
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:03 pm
Location: Shropshire

Re: Age at slaughter

Post by The Rushbury Pig » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:16 pm

I should also mention that I castrate all my boars regardless of whether they are for pets or meat. Obviously this means you can run gilts and boars together and you can keep the castrates going for as long as you need without the potential of them becoming adult sexually active males who will then have the potential for fighting and also meat tainted by specific hormones in their body. I hasten to add that if you are keeping them in single sex groups for only 7 to 9 months then that is not necessary.
Cheerio for now, Sam Jones :-)

BKKPS Chairperson
Email : samjonesbkkps@aol.com
Tel: 0845 489 5863, leaving a message for the secretary who will forward to me.

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