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kunes for meat

Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:24 pm
by newbie
We have quite a few boars coming up to weaning age and I can't see us selling them all. So I think we will have to keep them for meat instead. None have been castrated. Now I have lots of questions ! How long should we keep them, is it likely they'll fight, could the boars be kept together in the same paddock, will the meat have boar taint if we don't castrate, what age do they become sexually mature (they have some attractive sisters !) and how should we use the meat, what are the best cuts or the best way to process it. I'm saving up for a mincer attachment for my food processor and a sausage making book !

Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:41 pm
by Di
It seems a lot of people are asking this same question. I can only tell you my experiences.

The meat is superb. The first couple I had made totally into sausages because I had been told that's all they were good for. You get about 70lbs of sausages per pig. Had no trouble selling these and people came back for more. I had plain pork and pork and apple. Both were good.

The next couple I decided to experiment and had the back legs boned and rolled, chops and the rest into sausagemeat ( I was thinking scotch eggs, stuffing, hamburgers) I was surprised how good it was. I should have had the back legs cut in half as the joints were a bit big (there is only 2 of us now). The chops were scrumptious and the sausagemeat worked out good. Still have some in the freezer but it will get used up.

I have 4 this time (1 boar and 3 gilts). I will have boned and rolled joints, chops and sausages this time as we haven't got any sausages left.

My pigs free range - the 4 have about a quarter of an acre and I only feed them sow rolls (as I have those for the others) once a day. They are not putting on too much weight. I will probably take these when they are 7 - 8 months old. The others went at about 6 - 7 months.

I have not had boar taint, but think that would only occur if you kept them longer. They are not extremely fatty but I am quite careful not to overfeed them and they have plenty of room to run around.

I believe boars can become active around 8 - 9 months old but the gilts not until they are around 10 months old. So I will make sure they are all gone by 8 months old.

Hope this is helpful. Good luck.

Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:36 pm
by wendy scu
i know nothing about the meat but would say they may be sexually active a fair bit earlier - possibly 4-6months for gilts and boars

Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:23 am
by Di
Oh dear!! Thanks Wendy - better separate mine NOW!

Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:25 pm
by Pandora
Our naughty little boar got our three sows pregnant when he was only 6 months old! :shock:
They were a year older than him, and I had planned to stagger the farrowing by seperating them and rotating his companion sow (as we do now) once he was 8 months old ... he had other ideas :wink:
Dunno how he managed the physical logistics without keeling over backwards ~ he was only about 16" high at the time! :lol:

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:42 pm
by HappyHippy
Like Di, I've been experimenting :wink: The pork is lovely, every bit as good as 'big' pigs and the cuts aren't actually that much smaller, but you do need to be careful not to overfeed or it will be very fatty. Aim for around 50Kg liveweight (around 8-10 months in the case of entire boars) Mine run on roughly three quarters of an acre of good grass (6 KK's) get 1 pound of hard feed each and loads of fruit & veg. The last carcass had less fat than a Berkshire which went at the same time.
I would seperate your boars from your gilts asap - I heard a story of a KK gilt bought with her sister, taken home and produced a litter of piglets at 7 months :shock: she was in-pig at 4 months old.

Pandora - never underestimate the determination of the little guys :wink: Could be that the sow was laying down ? or standing in a hole ? :lol:

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:36 pm
by kiri
Interesting thread this as I intend on producing a litter next year and any unsold will be eaten.
Anyone know the cost of slaughter and butchering as I was told by someone that the cost would be the same as for a commercial pig when i was thinking it would be less for a much smaller pig.

Ooh and hi, my first post :D

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:12 pm
by simon
There tends to be a fixed cost per pig for slaughter and halve. After that its usually done per kg for the different butchering you need. Sausages are most expensive and fancy boned and rolled joints.

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:01 pm
by HappyHippy
The abattior I go to charges £18.50 for the slaughter and the butcher charges 80p per kilo (of the deadweight - which is about 80% of the liveweight) for butchery. But some butchers do charge a flat fee per pig and the prices can vary greatly, as can the quality of the cutting :roll:
It's definately worth phoning or going to see as many butchers as possible to find a good one - one who doesn't charge the earth, is happy to do your pigs and perhaps most importantly will listen to you and give you the cuts you ask for or guide you if you're feeling a bit lost.
Or, if you feel brave have the abattoir 'bone out' the carcass and do the slicing and packing yourself :wink: It's a fair bit of work, but you definately get a real sense of achievement and pride doing it that way (though obviously you can't sell the meat to the general public unless you are 'food approved')
Karen x

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:12 pm
by Stanfield
I have just had 2 "meat pigs" slaughtered and butchered £35 the pair - much cheaper than I expected ... but dont just go on price, make sure the slaughter house is up to scratch and treats the animals properly. Ours have a time slot and they are done there and then, no hanging around and you can watch if you like to ensure they are treated with respect.

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:01 pm
by Di
I took my 4 on Sunday and will be collecting the pork tomorrow and the sausages next week. Our abbatoir (C & S Meats) has a butchery attached and I get them to do it all (lazy I know). I will let you know the cost next week. I am always pleased with what they do.

My kunekunes were born 16th Feb so 7 months. 1 boar and 3 gilts.

Will also let you know the weight of meat achieved.

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:33 pm
by HappyHippy
I completely forgot to post that info !
I took a 10 month gilt last time.
The deadweight was 38Kg and I actually ended up with 33Kg of pork & sausages (and we did all the processing outselves, so it wasn't a mix up at the butcher :wink: ) So they must have lighter bone structure than most pigs (OSB's are another breed that this applies to)
Everyone who's tasted the pork says how wonderful it is and I've run out of sausages already ! That's the one drawback with the Kunes - it does take that wee bit longer.......but it's SO worth it !

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:58 pm
by kiri
A lot of very useful info here, thanks Newbie for starting this thread and all for the input keep it coming, its all very interesting.

Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:49 pm
by newbie
Thanks for all the info everybody...very interesting. I will let you know how we get on !