Broken Rib


Evidence of Violence

One of the interesting things about being a farmer and a butcher, a maker and a breaker you might say, is that I get to check out my pigs in detail from the inside out. I am their creator and their disassembler. This has lead to learning more about them, their structures and improving our herd breeding genetics – something I’ve long been looking forward to being able to do.
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The picture above shows an old injury. This pig had a broken rib when it was much younger. I’ve seen this a number of times, with as many as three ribs broken in a row. It is amazing how much damage an organism can sustain and still heal. I’ve broken 46 bones in my life. Like the T. Rex named Sue, I’ve lead a bit of a rough life. So far everything’s healed up stronger than new after more than half a century.

This pig’s broken rib was a bit different than most I’ve seen. Usually they’re clearly the result of being stepped on as young piglets. This one looks more like it got gored. The injury is at least several months old based on the healing and the complete lack of any evident injury on the skin side. Most likely it happened when the pig was only a month or two old.

Outdoors: 34°F/-8°F 8″ Snow turned to rain
Tiny Cottage: 50°F/57°F

Daily Spark: Humans are the real world interface for computers.

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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8 Responses to Broken Rib

  1. David Lloyd Sutton says:

    Hi, Walter. I was looking about online to see if anyone had used a pressure washer, either with or without scalding, to debristle home-slaughtered pigs. I’m really anxious to find methods that will allow a lone homesteader to do tasks like that. Came across a discussion on the subject where you were showing as moderator. Did you ever try it?

    Curiosity. Are your animals being debristled at the slaughter house you still must use until your abattoir comes on line? Have you yet employed that industrial grade debristler you bought?

    • I’ve heard it discussed many times but have never tried it. The slaughterhouse we take to has a scalding machine.

    • Farmerbob1 says:

      Somebody has to try it first! If you have access to a pressure washer and a small pig, maybe give it a try?

      I’m personally having a bit of a hard time imagining a pressure washer doing a thorough, clean job of debristling, but I’m no expert on pressure washers. One thing that might help, if it’s plausible in your situation, is allowing the pig to hang and age a couple days.

      The same biological processes that eliminate rigor mortis in hanging meat might also make the debristling process a little easier – all those hairs grow, so they are anchored by meat.

      If the experiment fails, then scorch off the small test pig with a torch and you’ve lost nothing but some time.

      • All of our pigs hang to age the meat for about a week. I did research on this years ago by hanging meat for varying amounts of time to find the sweet spot of getting the highest quality and working with the economics of our production cycle. See the article Hanging Around. The dehairing happens right after bleeding so by the time they go into the carcass chiller they are clean. The hairs are not in the meat but in the skin layer.

        • Farmerbob1 says:

          Aye I was imagining possible problems with dehairing after hanging, since I’m fairly sure you would not want to hang an animal without gutting it, but someone has to experiment, and David seems interested in it.

          As for the hair, yes, it’s in the skin layer, but hair follicles are anchored by tiny bits of meat and little bitty blood vessels in the living layers of the skin. My mother was an electrologist for quite a few years. Mammal hair is pretty much the same, except for odd animals like rhinos and other animals that create horns from modified hair.

  2. Peter says:

    I do sometimes wonder the same thing about web hosts, especially when I try to access the sites of their clients and got lots of “503” errors. :-)

    So yes it is nice to see you back up and running today. :-)

    …Peter
    …who notes as an IT guy, I’m happy that I work with Windows since even though it has its problems, at least there is the Event Log. LOL

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