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Where can I butcher my own hog?

Alright folks, perhaps the post seems odd, but my intention is to have a deeper and healthier relationship to the food that I eat. That means gardening of course, also canning and pickling and drying foods and the like. But as a meat-eater, I've been finding it almost impossible to take part in the process unless I want to hunt and fish.

So here is what I'm looking for, if anyone has any leads or thoughts please chime in! (I do not have the space or facilities at my home to do any of this stuff myself)

I want to buy a live hog or steer.
I want to slaughter it myself.
I want to butcher it myself.

The goal is to have a freezer full of steaks, chops, sausage, roasts, etc., and to have personally contributed to them being there. (The ultimate goal, btw, is to only eat meat that I put the effort into killing and dressing. Perhaps that will force me to be a vegetarian...)

I'm thinking the ideal situation would be a farm/ranch outside of LA, where I can pay the owner to "board" my animal until it's ready. They would let me do the butchering there, and then I could pack everything home in a couple coolers of dry ice. Bonus points if they help me with/teach me the butchering process, though I've found some people in LA that could teach me that if need be...

Or perhaps there is a farm that supplies one of the local specialty butchers and I could just go there and pick one out and slaughter it, and then ship it to that butcher for dressing.

If anyone has any ideas as to how I could basically have the farm experience that my grandfather grew up with (which I judge to be a much healthier relationship to my food) please throw them out there. Or if this is something that appeals to you, perhaps we can pool resources and a couple of us could split one hog, or make it worth the rancher's/butcher's time by having multiple orders...

Thanks for your thoughts...

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  1. I would contact Lindy and Grundy butchers on Fairfax. They look like they really know what they're doing, and perhaps they'd have some leads on your project.

    http://www.lindyandgrundy.com/

    1 Reply
    1. I suggest you hunt, kill and dress and then slaughter a wild pig: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/huntin... That way you can contribute to getting rid of an animal that is not native to California, and get intimately in touch with your "food"

      3 Replies
      1. re: Servorg

        +1. Feral pigs / wild boar are an invasive species that cause huge problems for farmers. You'll want to focus on meat pigs as opposed to trophy boars; they produce delicious pork.

        You'll need to complete a one-day hunter education course (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/classe... ), then get a license, but pig tags are only $20 each. You're far more likely to be successful if you hire a guide, but there's a fair amount of pig hunting on public land, too.

        Here's a guide to wild pig hunting in California: http://tinyurl.com/3qoohqm

        1. re: alanbarnes

          How does the taste of feral hogs compared to farm raised domesticated pigs? spare ribs and loin portions.

          1. re: reality check

            They're all the same species (sus scrofa), so the taste is similar, but the meat of wild pigs is leaner and far more flavorful. And especially with older animals, it's quite a bit tougher, too - they get a lot more exercise than their domesticated cousins, and develop more muscle tone. There's some variation in taste based on diet, too - it doesn't get much better than a pig fattened on fallen walnuts and very expensive pinot noir...

      2. I don't think that is legal for large animals like cattle. There are a lot of laws regarding humane slaughter of animals and food safety. I would think even for pigs, there would be a big insurance liability to have someone untrained slaughter and butcher a pig. You can certainly by whole animals that were raised well, Sonoma Direct does it for restaurants.

        2 Replies
        1. re: AAQjr

          Butchering animals for your own consumption Is allowed. Try a farmers market that has a hog producer and explain what you want to do. I did the same thing for a lamb and the rancher allowed me to do it without batting and eyelash.

          1. re: AAQjr

            I think I'd want someone around who was experienced, just to make sure I didn't do something stupid/dangerous.

          2. Some good ideas folks, thanks a lot! I'll report back on Lindy & Grundy, the farmers market options, and the feral pig hunt.

            Interestingly enough, this just came out the day after I posted:
            http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/0...

            Maybe now that an icon is interested in this sort of thing it will become easier for the rest of us... {For the record, I had the idea first!!! ;) }

            1. I am researching for a documentary about urban farming in Los Angeles and people getting back in touch with their food sources and I was wondering, whether you had success in finding a place to slaughter and butcher your own hog?

              thanks

              Lindy and Grundy is awesome btw