Ordering A Whole Pig

NOTE: OUR NEXT AVAILABILITY FOR HALVES AND WHOLES WILL BE IN FALL 2022

Want a lot of pork? We can do half and whole hogs! Half and whole hogs cost $3.75/lb hanging weight plus the cost of processing. We usually send pigs to butcher when they are 250-300 pounds live weight. At that size, a heritage breed pig will have a dressed weight (a.k.a. “hanging weight,” which means the weight of the pig on the rail once slaughtered and gutted) of 165-200 lbs and produce 100-125 pounds of meaty cuts; the rest is skin, bones, and organs (some of which can also be requested from the processor if you so desire). We charge the same rate of $3.75/lb for halves, but add a $5/half administrative fee, since managing two sets of instructions and cuts is more logistically challenging. 

 

Depending on the size of the pig and the amount of smoking and sausage you have made, a whole generally costs $800-$900, while a half usually costs $400-$450. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see an example of how the price is calculated and how much pork you get back. 

Here are the steps to reserve a half or whole pig:

  1. You contact us to reserve, and put down a deposit ($100 for a half, $200 for a whole) to hold your reservation; we recommend that you contact us at least 3 months in advance of when you would like your pork

  2. We guide you through the process of selecting your cutting options before your pig goes to the butcher

  3. We transport your pig to the butcher, along with other pigs from our herd that are at market weight

  4. The butcher cuts and wraps meats (including preparing sausage and smoking bacon/ham) according to your specifications; usually uncured meats and sausages are cut and frozen while bacon and ham are cured and smoked

  5. Your cuts are ready for pickup 2-3 weeks after pigs are dropped off; in most cases, we pick your cuts up for you at a time that is compatible with our schedule. If you need your cuts sooner, if you want your meat unfrozen, or if yours is the only pig we are transporting to the butcher then you will pick the cuts up yourself directly from the processor

 

Where Are The Pigs Butchered?

We work with several processors in Michigan. There are two kinds of processors: USDA Inspected, and Custom Exempt.

  • USDA-Inspected butchers have a government inspector review all carcasses for health and safety, and individual cuts can be sold retail; if your pig is processed by a USDA Inspected butcher, you can use it in restaurants or events where guests are paying for their food.

    • Price: USDA Inspected butchers are sometimes more expensive, but prices vary

    • Options: Inspected processors may have fewer options (e.g., flavored bacon, smoked sausage) because the inspection process is more cumbersome, and often have higher minimum amounts for flavored sausage

    • Providers: Our main inspected processor is DeVries Meats in Coopersville; we also work with Caledonia Packing (Caledonia), Countryside Quality Meats (Union City), and McNee's Meats (North Branch), depending on appointment availability.

  • Custom Exempt butchers are not inspected by the government, and can process pigs only for their owners' non retail use; if your pig goes to a custom exempt butcher, your meat can only be used by your family and non-paying guests.

    • Price: Custom processing is sometimes less expensive, but prices vary widely

    • Options: Many custom processors offer more options, like smoked bacon and peppered sausage

    • Providers: At the time of writing, we are working mainly with Sage's Meat Processing in Greenville (not close, but they have great options). There are also many more custom exempt processors nearby the Downriver area: Dunbar's (Milan), Scholl's (Blissfield), and Jerome Country Market (Jerome) are nearby options.

 

If you have certain needs with respect to processing type or options (e.g., skinned versus scalded), please let us know ahead of time. As of early 2022, we are primarily taking pigs to Custom Exempt butchers (i.e., for sale as halves and wholes).

What about whole pigs for roasts? Please click here to learn about getting a roaster pig.

Whole Pig Pricing Example

Whole pig cost breakdown (based on anticipated hanging weight of 180 lbs, which should yield 130 lbs of retail cuts)

 

  • $3.75 x 180 lbs to us: $675 fee paid to Flight Path Farm

  • Processor fees assuming a “typical” processing with mostly fresh cuts, all belly and one ham smoked, and trim plus one ham for sausage: roughly $220 paid to processor

    • Kill & Waste Disposal Fees: $50-$65 (fees are higher for larger pigs)

    • Cut and Wrap Fee: $0.60-$0.75/lb hanging weight, additional fee for deboning (roughly $125)

    • Cure and Smoke Fee $0.70-$1.70/lb standard cure or $1.10-$1.95/lb natural cure  (roughly $35, assuming 50 lbs standard ham/bacon)

    • Sausage: $1-2/lb for bratwurst lings, $0.20-$0.25/lb for bulk ($10, assuming 40 lbs bulk sausage)

  • Total Cost: About $895 (a 15-20% saving versus buying by the cut)

    • Note -- Each processor has their own method for butchering and their own pricing for slaughter, cut and wrap, sausage making, smoking, and return of bones/fat/organs; thus the same pig will have a different cost depending on the processor​ it goes to

    • Processors differ in whether or not they skin or scald and scrape pigs, whether offer all-natural cure for smoked meats, flavors of sausage offered, and the minimum quantity needed to make a flavored sausage

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