Thursday, June 21, 2012

Montanasmama on cutting pigs

Here's the latest in an exchange of emails between me and MM, who hails from West Virginia. She mentioned that she had to tag some goats the next morning and I came back with having tagged cattle before but not goats, then I mentioned something about cutting shoats.
Here, with her permission, is what she came back with:

 PIGS!!! I love pigs. This is so weird,(queue the music boyo) Kenny I swear this afternoon I was looking in the shop for the rig I used to hang piglets in to cut them. Years ago ( like 30) I used to raise a few litters of pigs a year. My GOB neighbor came up to castrate the fist litter, he did 2 and made me do the rest. He told me girlie if you’re going to do this you gotta learn! I bought this neat little rig at the local farm store that slipped over a board and you could hang the piglets upside down in it to do the dirty. It worked sweet. I ended up castrating everyone’s pigs in 3 counties! LOL But they were just little piglets, and other people were catching them and handing them to me. Now shoats, 60-80# are another story. Just ringing them boogers was a challenge. I did find my snoot snatcher but alas no hanger. I had a boar about 400# I wanted to butcher but needed to cut him first so the meat didn’t stink of boar. I talked to another GOB neighbor about it and he said we can do it. He brought over a 55 gallon drum and wedged it between a tree and the fence and he told me to throw the boar’s feed in it and make him crawl in to eat. AH OK I said. After about a week of this when the boar was crawling right into the barrel, Russ and his son came over tipped the barrel up with the boar in it and Bob’s your uncle easy peasy castration. That was late spring, I butchered in Dec and that hog never went with in 10’ of that barrel again! LOL I learned so much here about how to farm poor and work horses on these WV hillside farms from those good old boys. Sadly they are all gone and not many people are interested in that stuff any more.

*****

And it's a crying shame that folks aren't interested in that stuff anymore, stuff that helped build and feed a Nation. We used to be a hardy people but in the last 50 years we've all but forgotton how to survive without somebody else's help. Think about it: How many of you can remember all the womenfolk in the family getting together a couple times a year to put up preserves and vegetables that were grown in all the backyards of an extended family? How many families do that now? I do not know one single person outside of my mother that still cans. It's too easy to go to the grocery to buy that can of green beans.
Take that store away due to civil war, natural disaster or economic collapse and what happens? Widespread panic, looting, and starvation. After the mobs kill each other off fighting for finite supply of food, Montanasmama is going to be up in her hills raising her food, cutting her pigs and living her life.