Seeing as I'm going to Alaska, in the near future, to hunt bears with my longbow and wood arrows, I thought it would be best to get in some skinning and butchering since it had been a couple years since skinning my last bear. So, I contacted my friend, who raises pigs for the 4-H (simply cannot beat the meat quality) and told him what I was wanting to do. We agreed on a price and my son and I got to WORK. I have skinned and butchered guide a few large game animals, but never a domestic hog. The amount and quality of the meat I got from this hog was very impressive and will be enjoyed by family and friend for many meals to come.
Started out with a 305# Berkshire hog.
After slaughtering and removing the innards (I'll save the pics and details of those two processes), I got to work with skinning the hog. Yes, hanging the animal would make the process MUCH easier to skin and cut into major cuts, but I won't have that privilege while in the Alaskan Wilderness, so the work was completed as if I were skinning a bear on the ground.
After skinning one side, I put a piece of house wrap down, to protect the freshly skinned side, and rolled the hog over to be able to skin the other side. Once skinned, and head and trotters removed, I broke the hog down into manageable pieces (we call it "Quartering").
Here I am removing one of the Hams.
Yeah, this Ham was HUGE. Later, when butchering, I opted to cut the Hams into 4 roasts and a hock each, instead of curing into one giant ham.
Once the hog was "Quartered" and put into coolers with ice, I let the meat to cool down till the next day, while continuing to add ice to facilitate proper cooling. The whole time the drain plugs were open to allow the melted ice to flow out.
The next morning, I got to work butchering. One thing I know for sure, is that I will NEVER make money as a "Production" butcher. My cuts are probably unorthodox, but they work for me and My family, and that's what matters most to me.
Just one of the Backstraps, or if you prefer...boneless Chops.
My oldest, and I, on the "Grind Line". We ended up with 57# of grind (25# of which became breakfast sausage). Total amount of meat was 171#. Everything was boneless, except the 4 Hocks.