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Taste difference due to pig breed it feed?

 
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Carlarua



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 1178


Location: West side of meath

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:33 pm    Post subject: Taste difference due to pig breed it feed?  Reply with quote

We've been rearing pigs with a friend of ours in the last 2 years, for our own consumption, and whilst it has been a steep learning curve, it's a brilliant thing to do with the kids.

The 1st year, we bought tamworth piglets, fed them on meal (especially near the end) and mainly veg/fruit peelings and cast offs from the local veg shop, carrots and spuds bought in bulk with local suppliers and grain.
The meat was lovely in both taste and texture, but there was an orange tinge to the meat, which was probably caused by the carrots being a big part of their diet. There was a massive amount of fat on them (about a thumb), but that didn't bother me.

Last year, we bought tamworth/Gloucester old spot piglets, and because 2 more people asked to join us, we had to feed the pigs a majority of pig nuts, meal and about 1/4 of their diet was veg, fruit and kitchen leftovers.
The meat was great in texture, there was much less fat , but the taste of the meat wasn't as great (strong) as the year before.

Was that difference in taste caused by the breed of the pig, or the feed we gave them ?
We'll be buying piglets again in a few weeks, and I really want to go back to the meat we had the 1st year.

The only reason we didn't get the tamworths last year was that we couldn't find piglets close by. We got the tamworths of the 1st year about 1,5 hrs drive away, and piglets don't travel well. The piglets from last year were 10 minutes from our door.

Ta !
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wayland



Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 2189


Location: The Sunny South East

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Carlarua. We kept GOS for a few years and fed them on restaurant scraps. Not legal now I know but the pigs did very well on the "Black Forest Gateau, chips etc". This was supplemented with meal brought from a local piggery. Like you, we found large amounts of fat under the skin which makes for the best crackling. In our view we dont have to eat the fat but the meat cooks much better for it. As to the colouring of the Tamworth meat, I have never kept them but you may well be right in your assumption that the carotene in the diet caused the colouration. An example of this is the red feathers of Flamingos etc.
You have me thinking now. Perhaps next year I will get a few. Pigs that is, not Flamingo`s.

Cheers.
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Sean Ph'lib



Joined: 27 Jul 2012
Posts: 485



PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me too. Only in my case I'll be aiming to get 'em as fat as possible.  I will eat every bit of that fat - I'd be more inclined to leave the lean parts for the dogs!  As old Cobbett said:  "Lean meat is the most wasteful thing that any family can use.  In short, it is uneatable, except by drunkards, who want  something to stimulate their sickly appetite."
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Carlarua



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 1178


Location: West side of meath

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fat caramelises beautifully! It crisps up on the outside, and the fat inside is gooey but still firm.
The taste of the meat is really worth the effort.
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wayland



Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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Location: The Sunny South East

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sean Ph'lib wrote:
Me too. Only in my case I'll be aiming to get 'em as fat as possible.  I will eat every bit of that fat - I'd be more inclined to leave the lean parts for the dogs!  As old Cobbett said:  "Lean meat is the most wasteful thing that any family can use.  In short, it is uneatable, except by drunkards, who want  something to stimulate their sickly appetite."


Good luck with them Sean. I got a phone call a while back from a pig keeper friend asking me to help him box up two pigs for slaughter. His voice had an edge to it as he said "They are a bit on the big size". They were Hippos!. I have never seen anything like it. Apparently they had escaped into the woods two years earlier. Pig boards were tossed up into the air along with whoever was holding it. Corrugated sheet fencing used to funnel the pigs into the trailer was flattened. At one point in desperation my friend wanted to find a neighbor with a rifle just to shoot them!  The story goes on and on until finally we got them loaded.  Retiring to a nearby hostelry, well battered and beaten we were refused entry and were served well earned beer through the window. Apparently we an objectionable odor about us .
So Sean. You want fat pigs well be careful what you wish for
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Sean Ph'lib



Joined: 27 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmmm... they sound delicious!  Just what I'd be looking for.😋😋😋
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Carlarua



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 1178


Location: West side of meath

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayland wrote:
Good luck with them Sean. I got a phone call a while back from a pig keeper friend asking me to help him box up two pigs for slaughter. His voice had an edge to it as he said "They are a bit on the big size". They were Hippos!. I have never seen anything like it. Apparently they had escaped into the woods two years earlier. Pig boards were tossed up into the air along with whoever was holding it. Corrugated sheet fencing used to funnel the pigs into the trailer was flattened. At one point in desperation my friend wanted to find a neighbor with a rifle just to shoot them!  The story goes on and on until finally we got them loaded.  Retiring to a nearby hostelry, well battered and beaten we were refused entry and were served well earned beer through the window. Apparently we an objectionable odor about us .
So Sean. You want fat pigs well be careful what you wish for


That is nearly identical to what happened to us with our 1st batch.
First they escaped 3 times on Christmas Eve ; I had to lure them with bottles of milk, stuck in a blackthorn hedge surrounding a field with a massive bull, which the pigs seemed to have taken a shine to.
And oh boy, when pigs start going, they REALLY get going ! There's nothing to grab onto with a pig, not even a fold in the neck and you can't really get a good grip on an ear.
Like you Wayland, we had to make 2 attempts to get them to the abattoir. The first one, they  escaped and tore up the duck pond and surrounding shrubs. I read somewhere they liked drink, so I soaked oats in Brandy,  and cycled up to our friend's house in the middle of the sticks, on my dutch push-bike, the Brandy leaking  out of the box and soaking my trousers. I arrived reeking like a distillery. The pigs were not remotely interested in the boozy oats. We to cancel our slot with the butcher. The only reason I didn't get the rifle that the other half was threatening to shoot the pigs with, was that I was too pooped from cycling up hilly country on a bicycle that has the weight of a tank.
2nd time around, we put straw on the ramp of the trailer, and had 5 people with corrugated iron sheets to funnel them into the trailer. Milk in the trailer had them trotting in no bother.

Any trepidation the kids would have had in bringing the pigs to the butcher was quickly gone, having had to chase them, coax them and cajole them over the months beforehand.
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Sean Ph'lib



Joined: 27 Jul 2012
Posts: 485



PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmmm...! Fat bacon....! 😋
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wayland



Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 2189


Location: The Sunny South East

PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Luv it Carla. Despite the many yarns that one hears of the humble pig they still remain my favourite stock animal. We where once given two Vietnamese pot bellies. Remember when some idiots thought they could share their house with them?. I had a notion that if we bred from them the sucklers would make for a great feast spit roasted on the barby. They turned out to be the most noisy, destructive yokes ever!. Eventually enough was enough so off the the abattoir they went. The abattoir was a huge commercial place and we had to deliver our stock there at 4 am so as not to disrupt the lads on peace work. Unloading the pigs we got some sideways glances from the staff, but they got duly unloaded ok. We got the call later in the afternoon saying the pigs were ready for pick up. Walking into the office the foreman had his staff  lined up and said the lads have been taking bets as to what breed/cross our pigs were. Where they Berkshire crosses? which was the most popular choice. I was at a bit of a loss for wards thinking that they might object to slaughtering someone`s pets. I just said I had not a clue so that was that. The down side to the story was that these pigs have black skins. I was looking forward to some interesting crackling. I was told that the public health inspector would not stamp them "Approved" as he could not ascertain that the skins were in fact clean and healthy. So they skinned them just leaving patches of pink on their fore runners! Slightly disappointed we returned home and completed the butchering job. Sean. If you like fat pork, I mean "FAT". These yokes are the ones for you. One chop filled the plate completely, and despite the disappointing lack of crackling was the best pork I have ever eaten. By fare.  
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Sean Ph'lib



Joined: 27 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They wouldn't work for me Wayland.  As much as I love the fat, I love the skin even more!  I'm thinking Gloucester Old Spots.

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