How to buy our farm-to-table pork
We're currently raising purebred Berkshire pigs in our pastures. The D'Artagnan website says "Berkshire-breed pork is exceptionally tender, well-marbled, flavorful and a world apart from the average commodity pork."
Why is pasture-raised good? The meat is very 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 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.
If you've bought meat directly from farms before, you're familiar with the procedure, but if you're new to getting personal with your meat, it can be a bit confusing, so we explain it all here.
Basic sale information
- You can purchase a whole or half pig. We'll have a better idea as we get closer to the butcher date, but the estimated hanging weight is 250 lbs.
- 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.
- Because of exceptional quality of Berkshire pork, the price is $5/lb. (The average current local rate for pig shares is $4/lb).
- This payment to the farmer is due after butchering when we know the hanging weight.
- A $50 deposit is required before butcher to reserve, deducted from the final amount paid to the farmer.
- Costs paid to the butcher:
Prices are listed at the Mt. Angel Meat Company website and repeated for convenience here.
- Slaughter fee: $70
- 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, but not necessary.
- The orders are usually ready about 3 weeks after butcher. The butcher contacts 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.
- You'll pick up your order directly from the butcher in Mt. Angel.
The Quality of These Pigs
American Guinea Hog/Kune Kune
Born here on the farm
Closed herd since 2018 (reduced disease risk)
Pasture forage + nutritionally balanced commercial pig feed + local treats such as apples, pumpkins, and bread.
Daily attention and love from hoomans.
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 Pigs Can Fly Ranch uses, 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, plus custom cuts, it's hard to estimate what the total price will be. Pigs Can Fly Ranch does its best to estimate weight before butcher, but it's inexact and you'll have to be ready for weight variations.