With few Extension resources available on how to butcher a pig for home use, Sarah Schieck Boelke and her colleagues, Ryan Cox, Dallas Dornink and Lee Johnston created a video on how to butcher a pig for home use, including human safety, pig welfare and food safety discussions. Click here to watch the video.
With COVID-19 causing reduced operations at many pork processing facilities, pig farmers are experiencing a bottleneck of pigs on farms causing them to look for alternative market options. One option is for a farmer to sell a live pig directly to a consumer. The consumer typically would book an appointment with a local small scale meat processor in Minnesota to get the pig butchered, but the problem is when the video was recorded (May 22, 2020) many small scale meat processors are booked out for months. With no space available at a local processor and a pig that is ready for butchering, many people are choosing to butcher the pig themselves.
Before you begin the butchering process be sure you know what you are doing by checking out the following resources:
- Know if a Minnesota meat processor near you has the availability to butcher the pig for you
- Read Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Slaughtering Animals on Farms fact sheet
- Know how to properly dispose of the carcass remains (hide, head, internal organs (offal), etc. using the Minnesota Board of Animal Health’s carcass disposal guidelines
- Pork Carcass Fabrication: Primal and Retail Cuts fact sheet by South Dakota State University Extension Meat Science Specialist Amanda Blair
- Pork retail cuts poster by National Pork Board
Learn how to butcher a pig for home use here.