Butcher day on the farm happens about once a month for us. I usually pick out and separate the animals that are to be harvested on butcher day, either the night before, or the morning of butcher. We get a lot of questions, when people inquire about buying our farm raised meats, about the process. So, I thought this would be a great opportunity to share how it works on our farm.
Today we were having 2 beef, 2 lamb and 2 pork harvested. Farmer Barbara sets the butcher dates with our butcher shop, months in advance. Before the butcher truck and their crew get to the farm, I'm up early, coral the beef to be butchered. When the butcher truck arrives at our farm, they always park their truck along side our lamb shed area, which is all concrete and a nice place for them to work. I bring up the animals from the lower barn that they butcher, by tractor. From our pig barn up by our house, the hogs that we are having butchered are brought down to the truck by me as well, after they are butchered. The butcher and his crew break down some of the animal at the farm, removing the stomach, heads, organs, hoof portions that aren't edible etc...each animal is rinsed down and tagged while hung on the hooks then transported to their butcher shop for custom cut/wrap, according to the customers desired processing instructions. The butcher shop offers a guideline form on each animal, pork, beef and lamb. You can further customize the processing as you wish. There is always wiggle room on each animal. The organs are saved, should the customer want the organs, as well as the oxtail and cheek meat of the beef. The cheek meat of the hogs are used in the making of the customers sausage. The beef dry age hangs at the butcher shop for 10-14 days before it's cut/wrapped. The pork takes 7-10 days for processing due to dry age hang time. The rest of the pork is cut before the hams and bacon are ready and it's all ready for pick up at the same time. The lamb has no "hang" time per say, but just depends on the day they want to cut lamb, when it would be ready for pick up. The customers are called when their order is ready and they pick up from the butcher shop. It's a busy morning on butcher day and good feeling that all of my our hard work has paid off. This time of year is especially busy with lambing season in full swing. I'm looking forward to the weather to improve and dry out. It's been a very wet winter, so I'm looking forward to some sun and getting things dried out, so we can start Spring cleaning the farm and all the other activities Spring brings to the farm!