One of the most popular inquiries before one of our customer commits to a whole or half hog, is “how much pork will be delivered?”
The following is a simplified method of determining how much pork one can be expected to fill your freezer. We’ll talk in rates and measures as a butcher would use, as the butcher is the final stop before your doorstep. A butcher receives whole pigs slaughtered on the farm, and processes them according to a cut sheet filled out by individual customers. They will then cut all pigs in half lengthwise, and begin the process of cutting per cut sheet.
We won’t cover how many or what types of cuts a whole hog will equal in this post, but will cover that in a future post.
We typically raise pigs to around 300 pounds, although some can vary slightly higher or lower. This is the ‘live weight‘. For this article, let’s assume a 300lb live weight pig. There is typically a 30% loss at slaughter, including blood loss, inedible parts (guts and organs you don’t want), and skin (if not being scalded). That 70% remaining becomes the ‘hanging weight‘ (at least for this farm. Some farms’ hanging weight includes everything.) Hanging weight is what we use to determine price. Once at the butcher, and the hog has hung and chilled, it will then be divided into your chops, ribs, roasts, bacon, etc. resulting in your cut/packaged weight. The hog will typically lose another 20% of the hanging weight due to trimming, boning, and further moisture loss.
Here’s the math for a typical Whole Hog:
300lbs = Live Weight
– 30% loss at slaughter
= 210lbs Hanging Weight
– 20% loss after butcher cuts
= 170lbs Cut/Packed Weight
Final sale weight could be more, of course, on whether you want to keep assorted offal (liver, heart, head, etc).
At the time of this post (2021), we sell Whole Hogs at the rate of $4.00 per pound. Remember, our pigs are sold by the hanging weight, and not the final chops, rib, bacon, etc (cut/packaged weight) you would receive (and pay separately for) from the butcher. Delivery is an additional $50 charge anywhere in the state of Vermont.
Whole Hog Hanging Weight = 210lbs
210lbs x $4.00lb
= $840 (210lbs times $4.00lb)
Cut/Packed Weight 170lbs
Cut/Packed Cost = $4.95lb ($840 divided by 170lbs)
Butcher processing rates vary. The figures below are from an actual Vermont USDA slaughterhouse (2021). Butchering (not including smoking fees) at $.85 per pound (170lbs x $.85) = $144.50
WHOLE HOG TOTAL
$840 Whole Hog raise + slaughter
$144.50 Half Hog processing (Butcher fee)
$984.50 ($5.80 per pound as final cuts in your freezer, unsmoked)
Let’s break that down even further for a Half Hog
Again, our hogs are sold by the hanging weight, and not the cut/packaged weight you would receive (and pay separately for) from the butcher. This is only an example if you are splitting a whole hog with another party. You will have to split your whole hog amongst yourselves. Delivery is an additional $50 charge anywhere in the state of Vermont.
Half Hog Hanging Weight = 105lbs
105lbs (210lbs of the whole hog divided in half)
= $420 (105lbs times $4.00lb)
Cut/Packed Weight 85lbs (170lbs divided in half)
Cut/Packed Cost = $4.95lb ($420 divided by 85lbs)
Butcher processing rates vary. Below figures are from an actual Vermont USDA slaughterhouse (2021). Butchering (not including smoking fees) at $.85 per pound (85lbs x $.85) = $72.25
HALF HOG TOTAL
$420 Half Hog raise + slaughter
$72.25 Half Hog processing (Butcher fee)
$495.25 ($5.83 per pound as final cuts in your freezer, unsmoked)
Good pork that fits your budget
These figures are typical for a 300lb live weight pig, so can vary depending on your pig’s final live weight. Final price per pound you will pay is approximately $5.80lb, not including optional delivery or smoking. Not bad for a freezer full of farm-fresh, pasture-raised pork raised just for you, from a pig that lived a happy life on pasture and had a stress-free last day. Happy pigs make tasty pork.