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.

9 comments:

drjim said...

Well, *I* remember!
I grew up out in the cornfields of Northern Illinois, and my Mom and all the relatives would get together twice a year to do the canning and preserving. I helped a lot when I was little, but as I got older, I got to go out with the menfolk to do the hunting and fishing.
My Dad had four brothers, and #1 made the booze, #2 had a huge "vegetable garden" and a few head of this and that and a bunch of chickens, #3 made the sausage, and #4 made the cheese.
My Dad's "job" was family handyman/mechanic.
And I went to school with a lot of "Farm Kids", and was pretty well exposed to farm life.
Home made food just always tastes better!

Erinyes said...

Too bad we couldn't get her to take care of Frank Marshall Davis in the early fifties!

Anonymous said...

Farm raise folk, reenactors, Society of Creative Anachronism members, RenFaire vendors ... they'll survive.
Urban folk? They'll either co-operate and learn skills or die.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...who needs a rig? Why not just get a helper to hold the piglet by the back legs? Razor blade...finger...pull...iodine...done!

Everett said...

I'm 74, have four kids and many grandchildren and live on an Island. Been doing all the aforementioned stuff most of my life. have virtually become the guru here on how to actually do this stuff as more and more of my neighbors have come to the realization that we are fucked and they need to take their coming survival into their own hands!
Same applies to guns, ammo reloading,etc. People around her are scared shitless about the future. Due to our location, when that last ferry lleaves, we are on our own!

Craig Cavanaugh said...

Families are scattered hither and yon in search of the "American Dream (TM)" these days. Too sad, because it has caused the demise of this society. By design, I reckon. The motherfuckers responsible will pay dearly if I have anything to do with it. Have rope, will travel...

Anonymous said...

I needed that rig to do my piglets because I mostly worked alone. We call it a mechanical advantage dude. Besides how many guys want to hold a squealing squirming piglet in their lap while a women approaches their junk with a razor blade?.

I would be happy to take care of Frank Marshall now with a rusty razor blade. And Obummer too.

Kenny Lots of people here in WV still can and grow big gardens. I'm lucky to have a huge CSA farm 2 miles away.
Montanasmama

Scott McCray said...

Yup, I remember - and we still can, dehydrate and freeze. Make deer jerky, can venison, too. My bro raises chickens and hogs - and we all garden all we can handle. Got a neighbor with Percheron horses for all the "grow-good" we can stand.
Collapse? Works for us...

CountryRebel said...

i grew up in the wrong era. im 26 and ive always had a garden. except this year. work n kid came durin plantin time n just never happend. but between me n my wife we could easily live off the grid and be self proficient. she still cans, knows how to hunt and can cook supper n skin a squirrel at the same time.