Update: This is a historic post. To buy a poster see the Posters page for up-to-date pricing and availability.
Interestingly, the above post has turned out to be the favorite among stores, restaurants and chefs. Last year I had gotten a Epson Stylus 1400 printer for making posters for our customers to hang in their business locations and kitchens.
Anyone who would like a poster (~13″x19″) can order them for $15 each plus $5/shipment for postage. The above pork chart is available in a slightly simplified design on T-shirts at CafePress. See this article for more details and a large graphic. Customized versions with your farm name replacing the green SugarMtnFarm.com are also available or an initial $25 cost plus the above pricing. That will still retain the light blue print with our link and info. You may use the graphic as-is without modification for free on your web site if you provide a clickable link back to https://SugarMtnFarm.com directly below the poster. If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com
Note: Sizes, prices and shipping costs are subject to change. The above is what it was in 2008 but the cost have increased since then – inflation is. To find the latest costs just drop me an email.
I had originally made the poster for myself several years ago to help me learn about the different commercial cut names and where they came from. Later in 2006 I used it in the “What is Half a Pig” article. It grew from there into a poster we passed out to retailers who carry our pastured pork. Interestingly this poster has even appeared on BBC TV in England. (YouTube version at 3 minutes and 30 seconds). The cut chart has also shown up in Japan as has one of my photos of our roosters on a science program on Japanese Television. What fun!
I have let many other farmers use the poster, as it clearly allows on the bottom of the design, with the caveat that it must be unaltered and link back to my web site, a reasonable request. One web designer in Canada did steal it and blot out my name and contact info. Fortunately one of you spotted it. After some strong language the web designer took it down. I don’t mind sharing but it is appropriate to give credit and a link when one uses something someone else has created.
I just updated the poster with some new information. If you click on it you can see a larger, more readable, version.
On a closely related note, I get questions from people asking about how to specify the cuts of pork they want a butcher to do. If you’re facing this question, perhaps you raised pigs and they’re ready to go, then check out the order form. That may help answer some of those questions. Feel free to print and use it when you go to the butcher. Also be sure to read the “What is Half a Pig” article which will give you some more background on the topic of going to the butcher.
By the way, a pig is about two to three cu-ft of freezer space for typical cuts with bones. There is about 35 to 50 lbs of meat in a one cubic-foot box depending on how tightly it was packed. e.g., ground meat packs more tightly than ribs, hams and roasts.
Outdoors: 59°F/43°F Sunny
Farm House: 69°F/50°F
Tiny Cottage: 67°F/62°F
Have you heard of the old European practice of butchering whole pigs for a sausage making bee ie all cuts into the same sausage? I’m curious to know if North American butchers have cut animals for this purpose and you might be one who has come across this.
I wasn’t aware of that being an old European practice. We do that – making entire pigs into sausage. That is part of what makes our hot dogs taste so good – there are real cuts of meat including the loin, shoulder, hams, bacon, etc in them.
The butcher who is teaching us commercial meat cutting does the same. This past Tuesday we cut an entire pig, in about two hours, all by ourselves to deboned meat for sausage. The only thing he kept out was some side pork and the center cut loin. Into the sausage went tenderloin, sirloin, hams, shoulder, butt and every other scrap of quality meat we could gain. It was an excellent deboning exercise.
Down here (in the South) many people butcher pigs only for sausage. I have a neighbor who raised pigs years ago and almost always turned the whole pig into sausage for his buyers. He told me that “every once in a while someone wanted a ham-don’t know what for!”
You have to be careful with some of the butchers around here too. We usually do the slaughter and butcher ourselves, but earlier this month we took a 350 lb. pig to a local butcher. Even though I checked off all the cuts (including sausage), I got a couple 2 lb hams, some chops, and lots and lots of sausage. We weren’t pleased.
Wow Walt!!!! Great poster! Do you sell tem as wall posters? I would love to get one.
Jeremy, I’ve not been selling the posters although I should consider it as several people have asked.
On another topic, do you have any experience with umbilical hernias? I’ve got a 3 month old gilt that I wanted to breed this winter, but she’s developing an umbilical hernia. Right now it’s a little smaller than half a golf ball.
I did some research on
and have come to the conclusion that I should plan on putting her in the freezer this fall, if she lasts that long. Just thought I’d pick your brain on the subject!
I’ve seen an umbilical hernia. The pig did fine growing up to be a good finisher. I would not keep her for a breeder due to the likelihood of there being a genetic predisposition to a weakness in the abdominal wall which could produce hernia’s in her offspring.
On the topic of umbilical hernia–
The vet use to come to the farm and repair them on his bimonthly visits. He taught hubby to repair them too. Iodine on skin, cut open, push whatever was out back through the abdomen, stitch closed in two layers with a couple of stitches each using Iodine sprays as you go. Then give a shot of Penn G. We had a couple die of infection that way, but most lived. I think just leaving them is the best option, but we didn’t know you could.
Back then he was caring for over 3500 (adult) hogs, so about two or three hernias a week showed up on the piglets. Doc Y would always just stitch them up if he were there or else the farmhands did it. Just leaving them alone would have been much easier and probably safer. The vet came out twice or three times a month, so it was just what he chose to do and suggest. He said they could “strangle” on them? Maybe from intestines sticking or something? But these were repaired in small piglets still in the farrowing crates (less than two weeks old) not older gilts or sows. Hernias on pigs are repaired very early in life. The gilt s
hould probably be processed.
Lovely artwork. I’m very impressed. Best cut chart I’ve seen!
Excellent cut chart. Can I get a copy? I would love to hang it on my wall.
Currently my poster printer is out of commission but I expect it to be back up and working in 2012. You may print the poster yourself or through one of the online services for your own use for free – just please do not modify it and leave my copyright information on it. That way people who see it can get back to my blog. Enjoy.
Great chart. Ever consider making up a really big commercial sized poster of this? Laminated even? I bet it would sell.
Its an idea and I’ve had requests but it hasn’t made it up to the top of my priority list. Feel free to print up a copy for yourself. Just please don’t alter the poster so as to leave my copyright and link back to my blog. Cheers, -Walter
Wow. Excellent. I love this chart. I first saw it in a restaurant on the back wall. That brought me to yoru site.
If i were butch an older sow say 700 to 900lbs when retired after a few years, when then weight ratio from hoof to freezer still hold at about 48% and also would the cuts stay the same or would meat get tough or be more lard and fat or hopefully hold the same as for a 300lb. kill? thanks for info
On ours the ratio holds up at about 72% from live weight to hanging weight and then 67% to commercial cuts or about 50% to ground (no bones). If she is fat then the ratio will be lower. If you’re feeding grain and she’s penned then I would expect more fat.
We just did a big sow that was seven years old. Delicious and tender. Just trim out the connective tissue as that is tougher. Marbling is excellent.
We have a sow with a litter about a month old all healthly piglets who has come back in full heat.Today we put her in with a boar and she stood still and took him is it ok to put her back with her piglets until she dries on up? Does a sow normally come in heat like that when she still has a litter? Would us just getting a boar and them seeing and smelling each other through the pens bring her on into heat early like that? Any info is appreciated. thanks
The piglets are just old enough to wean. In the ‘industry’ they wean as young as ten days. We like to wean around six weeks but it varies from four to eight weeks depending on the season and how cohorts work out. We do have sows that come into heat and get pregnant while still nursing. It doesn’t seem to do them ill and they have big litters of fine piglets. I think this may vary with the sow considerably. Blackie is an example who does this. She usually rebreeds after about ten days. Her daughters are similar.
The smell of the boar can bring a sow into heat. In fact, you can buy Boar-In-A-Can with the scent to bring sows into heat for Artificial Insemination (AI).
When castrating baby piglets how much of the tissue connected to the nuts do you need to take off with it. I watched a few videos on you tube and am still not exactly sure. thank again for all the help
You just need to remove the testicle. Generally the testicle is pulled off which causes less bleeding than a clean cut. I don’t castrate, haven’t for many years. I would suggest checking out these posts about taint. You may not need to do it.
We have two chesterwhite sows way to fat would this be a factor if a hog does not come back into heat? What can bring this to be and is there anything i can do about it? thanks again chris
I have read of lots of problems from sows, and boars, being too fat. It interferes with breeding, gestation and lactation. I have not heard of it stopping heat cycling though. If she’s overly fat then cut her calories and get her to exercise more such as by placing her food, water and bed distantly so she must get regular exercise. Feed more pasture so she gets more fiber and fills up before you feed grain.