We just came home from the butcher and got everything squared away in the freezer and I've now done the math, so I can give you the breakdown on what we got and what we paid for our organic, pasture-raised meat. Keep in mind this is not going to be the cheapest stuff you can get from the store, if you even still can. These animals are not feed lot raised or even raised in a nice barn, but confined to a pen.
They are out there in the sunshine, with little shelters if it gets too hot, too windy, or too rainy. These pigs walk free and root around in the soil eating anything they find that is good for them. This is the prime stuff, not the stuff injected with salt water or who knows what else. These pigs get exercise and their meat is nowhere near the color of what you see in the stores. They are rotationally grazed, which means they get fresh pasture every 10 days, before any parasite pressure can develop from being in the same space too long. They are given organic feed, free choice minerals, and lots of fresh vegetables and fruits from the farmers gardens. And that healthy environment and food, that difference, is reflected in the price, the quality, and the taste.
That being said, here is the meat I got. I could have gotten roasts, but I wanted more sausage, so didn't get any.
38 1 inch pork chops
8 1 inch pork steaks
3 family sized packages of spare ribs
16 country spare ribs (basically boneless smaller steaks)
16.5 pounds of bacon
24 lbs of country (breakfast) sausage
24 lbs of mild Italian sausage
2 hams (they should just fit in an oval 6 quart crockpot for size)
2 packages smoked ham hocks
1 8 lb bag of leaf lard (for making biscuits and pie crusts)
I skipped getting the rest of the lard as it has a porky taste to it and while we don't mind it, especially for deep frying, my mother hates the smell of it. Leaf lard has no smell or taste to it and doesn't stink when rendering it down. It would have been about 30 lbs if I had gotten the regular lard.
Hanging weight for the hog was 210 pounds. Hanging weight is the amount my half of the carcass weighed after all the guts came out. I was charged $3.50/lb on that, coming to a total of $735. But that is not the grand total, so don't be pulling out your calculater yet.
Next up comes the butcher fees, which are quite a lot different than when getting beef, because a lot more is being done. The butcher fee covers the killing, gutting, and the hanging in the refrigerted warehouse, the cut and wrap fee which is based on cutting it up into pieces and how much plastic and paper is used to package the meat, the cure and smoke fee for things like the bacon, ham, and hocks, the bacon slicing fee, and finally the sausage processing fee. The last involves the grinding down of the meat, twice, a large grind followed by a small grind, then of course mixing the seasonings in. I got charged twice for that since I had two different kinds and they have to clean the machine in between. If I'd only gotten one type of sausage, that fee would have been half what is listed below.
$85.00 Butchering Fee
165.90 Cut and Wrap Fee
$36.23 Curing and Smoking Fee
$12.00 Sausage Processing Fee
+_6.00 Bacon Slicing Fee
329.24 Total Meat Processing Fee
Add that together with the hanging weight fee:
1064.24 Total for Hog
This brings the total per pound to $5.07/lb. for organic pastured pig. Which is incredible for that type of meat. And let's face it, I can't even get regular bacon, pork sausage, or ham for that price anymore where I live, and you probably can't either, except maybe a picnic ham around the holidays. Sometimes not even pork loin chops, let alone the real ones with the bones. Pork shoulder you can get for $1.99/lb, sometimes ribs for $3.99/lb. But there is stuff injected into that pork shoulder and often any chops before they are cut. It's $8 a pound for organic bacon and $7 a pound for regular. Today's prices, with all that inflation, are horrible.
One 1 lb organic, pasture-raised pork chop of the same size as the ones I got runs for $9.28/lb. It cost $22.49 for a package of 2 country ribs. Mine had 4 and cost $7 less based on weight comparison. This was from the same farm I got it from, only in the store, so the best comparison. The sausage from the same place is $10 a pound on the rare occasion it isn't sold out by 10 a.m. and was out of my price range to buy it that way So I think I did pretty good there buying it this way. If inflation continues as it has been, I wouldn't be surprised if in a year we aren't paying $5/lb for all cuts of pork.
This should last us a year. We don't eat a ton of pork, mostly breakfast types or to use the sausage in meatloaves or meatballs, but it'll be nice to change up the chicken, beef, and seafood. It works out to 380 servings, give or take how much broth we get from the hocks and ham bones. That works out to 95 meals for 4, so we could have pork 1.82 times per week. I haven't had bacon in so long. I've been eating a lot of turkey bacon because it is so much cheaper, but really, it just tastes like ham to me.
Honestly, the size on some of those chops and steaks, I could probably cut them in half and have even more meals from them. A hog from the butcher stays good up to two years in a deep freeze, so I could cut part of the chops or steaks off, cook them, and then use the cut off part in stir-fry in another meal. I'll have to think on that, but no one needs to eat a one pound pork chop or steak, that's for sure.
Now to start saving up for next year's beef. And maybe another chest freezer, so I can stockpile chicken, too. Bulk buying off the farm, organic and pasture-raised, saves me so much money against buying it from the store, when and if I can even find it. I don't have the energy to raise them myself anymore, not even the 8 weeks for Cornish cross, but I know a farmer who will raise them for me next summer. 52 chickens in the freezer would be very, very nice.