At Dominion Valley Farm we raise two breeds of heritage hogs: Tamworth and Large Black. The Tamworths were referred to as the Irish graziers back 200 years ago in England. They are considered a "bacon pig" because of their long, lean body type . The Tamworths are a hardy pig on pasture and thrive on grass and whatever other greens they find in the field. This lean meat's taste is fabulous!
In 2008 we had the opportunity to begin raising a new breed of hogs called Large Black. Like the Tamworths, they are a hardy pasture pig that love the outdoors. The Large Blacks offer a little more fat on the meat over the leaner Tamworths. Back in the olden days, some hogs were raised for their meat and the fat which was then rendered into lard. In today's world, lard tends to be a dirty word but, in reality, lard should be used whenever vegetable shortening is called for…a much healthier and tastier alternative. The Large Black pig, having a bit more fat on them (although still less than a "factory raised" pig), has very moist and tender meat, truly an exceptional flavor!
Beginning in the fall of 2013, we have crossed the Tamworth with the Large Blacks. WOW - wait until you try it! We have been quite pleased with the cross that has resulted.
You may order by the whole or half hog or a 25-pound box. Plus, we offer individual cuts of pork for sale (brats, brat patties, maple breakfast sausage, savory breakfast sausage, plain and Italian seasoned ground pork, lard, deli ham, chops, steaks, bacon, ham, tenderloin, country ribs, roasts and more...).
We require a $50 deposit for all whole and half hog orders. The deposit is due before the butchering date and will be deducted from the total you will pay to Dominion Valley Farm at the time of pick-up. If you need to change or cancel your pork order, your deposit is fully refundable if the change is made before the pig goes in for butchering.
The average weight of a whole hog is 200-260 pounds live weight. You pay only for the hanging weight, which will be approximately 64-72% of the live weight for the Tamworths, 80-85% for the Large Blacks. The amount of meat you will receive is approximately 75-80% of this hanging weight for the Tamworths, 68-72% for the Large Blacks.
To explain this better, and with all of the gory details!, the live weight is just that - how much the pig weighs when it walks off the trailer and into the butcher shop. The hanging weight is the weight after the pig has been slaughtered, insides removed, blood drained. Using a Tamworth as an example, the cut-up process begins and this is where you will end up with 75-80% of the hanging weight: The head and hooves are removed, bone-in cuts are made (such as pork chops) and then meat is taken off the bone for the "trim" meats (such as brats, breakfast links, bulk sausage, etc). If you have more trim meats made, please remember the bone is discarded, which was part of the hanging weight. You are getting all of the meat from the pig, just not all of the bone, so this is where the hanging weight and actual pounds of meat you take home to your freezer differs. We don't know all the reasons for the difference in percentages between the two breeds, but the main reason is the variance in body shape and bone structure/density between the two.
The 25-pound box is perfect for smaller families or for our customers wanting to have a taste of the different cuts available before considering a whole or half pig order. It sells for $185.00 and includes 2-lb. pork roast, pork chops in packages of 2, pork steaks in packages of 1, 1-lb. packages of bacon, deli ham, brats/brat patties, breakfast sausage and bulk sausage, an optional half ham (approximately 5-7 lbs.), possibly lard and ribs.
By ordering a whole or half hog you are given more flexibility as to the cuts of meat and sizes of packages appropriate for your family. Here is a list of cuts available from the butcher: Whole or half ham - fresh or smoked, ham steaks - fresh or smoked, bacon, roasts, pork chops, pork steaks, spare ribs, country ribs, bratwurst, brat patties, maple breakfast sausage - link or bulk, savory breakfast sausage - link or bulk, ground pork or Italian seasoned pork sausage, hocks, braunschweiger, liver sausage, liver and lard (already rendered if you choose).
BOTTOM LINE: Based upon the 2011 price of $3.00/pound (the 2014 price is $3.75/pound), this is paid directly to Dominion Valley Farm. The butcher charges by the pound for cutting and packaging (approx. $0.50/pound) plus an additional charge for smoking and any sausage in casings. These charges are paid directly to the butcher. They also charge approx. $20 per hog for slaughter. There is no set price for a hog, but here is a pricing breakdown: If you ordered a whole hog (based on 170-pound hanging weight), your costs would include $3.00 x 170 = $510.00 paid to DVF. You would have butchering charges of approximately $85 on the low end (no smoked meats, no casings) to about $163 (maximum smoked meats, all sausage in casings) plus a $20 slaughter charge. Based on this scenario, you would go home with approximately 120 lbs. of pork, plus or minus depending on how you had it cut up. After doing all of this math, your total cost is only $5.12 to $5.78 per pound! Because the weights of these hogs vary at slaughter time, actual hanging weights (and costs) will vary.
Whole/Half Hog Ordering Process:
1) Place your order online by clicking on our "Order Form."
2) When you receive our E-mail confirmation, mail your $50 deposit to us (8375 Midland Drive, Allenton, WI 53002).
3) We will contact you shortly before the butchering date and send you our "Cutting Instructions" sheet. This will give you wonderful ideas of how to have your hog cut and packaged.
4) We will instruct you to contact the butcher directly, giving them your cutting/packaging preferences. They are very helpful and will walk you through the ordering process!
5) When the pig has been processed, we will pick it up from the butcher and have it here at our farm for you to pick up at a convenient time.
6) You pay for your meat when you pick it up at our farm (we will have already paid your butcher charges for you, which will be included in the one amount you pay us), and we will deduct your $50 deposit from the total.
7) You go home with a large quantity of absolutely delicious pork to pack into your freezer!
Please write or call if would like more explanation or have other questions on the packaging and/or pricing structure.