How to buy our farm-to-table pork
Do you love pork but have a small freezer? If so, a whole or half of one of our heritage-breed pigs may be the perfect amount for you. The hanging weight of our pigs (before processing) is usually 80-95 lbs., so obviously 1/2 would be around 45 lbs.
Why is pasture-raised good? The meat is lean and flavorful but not gamy. Pasture-fed animals tend to have more Omega 3's and other nutrients. See this article.
Following state regulations, we sell pig shares, not pork, popularly known as "meat on the hoof." This means that we sell a whole or half pig directly to the consumer before we take them to a premier USDA butcher in the area, Mt. Angel Meat Company, who takes your custom order for ham, sausage, and so on and cures and packages the meat for you.
Basic sale information
- You can buy a whole pig or 1/2. Estimated hanging weight is 80-95 lbs for the whole pig. This means smaller, more manageable cuts of meat.
- There are two payments that must be made when buying animal shares, one to the farmer and one to the butcher.
- The amount due to the farmer:
- Number of pounds of hanging weight times the amount per pound.
- For the winter/spring butcher, the price will be $3.00/lb. if the hanging weight is over 80 lbs., $2.75/lb. if the hanging weight is over 60 pounds, and 2.00/lb. if less than 60 pounds.
- This amount is due after butchering, minus any required deposit.
- If you sign up to reserve, we'll invoice you for a small deposit a month before butcher. You can cancel your order at that time if you choose with no penalty.
- Costs paid to the butcher:
Prices are listed at the Mt. Angel Meat Company website and repeated for convenience here.
- Slaughter fee: $70 ($35 for half)
- Cut and wrap fee: $.69/lb.
- Sausage and smoked meat processing fee, depending on what you order.
See more details on butcher costs at Mt. Angel Meat Company's website.
- We provide your name and phone number to the butcher the day before the pigs are butchered. They will call you for your order, or you can call them ahead of time. The butcher loves to give advice on making good choices based on pig size and your tastes.
- There's a worksheet for cutting and processing choices – see the Pork Cutting Form at the butcher's site. This is helpful for when you talk to the butcher.
- The orders are usually ready 2-3 weeks after butcher, and the butcher will contact you directly when it's ready.
- You have at least a couple weeks of free freezer storage to pick up your order. After that time, daily freezer storage rates are added.
- If you live in an area between Mt. Angel and Albany, Pigs Can Fly Ranch will deliver your order at no extra charge. Please contact us ahead of time to arrange it.
The Quality of These Pigs
- Our pigs are of American Guinea Hog and Kune Kune descent.
- The pigs were born here on the farm and raised with their mom and dad in a closed herd, which means no new pigs have come on the property since 2018.
- This means healthy pigs with no need for antibiotics.
- They forage on pasture and in forest in a quiet country setting. They are not exposed to pesticides or herbicides.
- About 10% of their diet is supplemented with high-quality commercial pig feed balanced for nutrition, plus and local treats such as apples, pumpkins, and bread.
- The pigs get daily attention and love from the time they're born. This is truly hog heaven.
If you're new to buying meat on the hoof
There are two ways that small farmers can sell meat.
The first method, the one I'm using, is to sell "meat on the hoof," meaning that a whole or half pig is purchased before it is butchered and is sold by its hanging weight. You deal with the butcher directly to discuss the cuts you want, and you pay the butcher fees directly to the butcher. The second method is to sell individual packaged cuts of meat for retail sale, such as a farmers market or retail store.
The best thing you can do is call Mt. Angel Meat directly when you place your order. They are friendly and helpful in advising you on what cuts to choose based on what you like. They will also ask if you want to keep the organ meats or the lard. Remember that although you're buying the pig on the hoof out of a pasture, this is a USDA-inspected butcher.
With all the separate costs and without knowing the exact weight, it's hard to figure out exactly what the total price would be. As a rule of thumb, the price usually works out to $4.00-$5.00/lb.
All previous customers have reported back that the meat requires a bit longer to cook but has a great flavor. These are tiny pigs so it's a great way to give this adventure a try!