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What to Expect From a Whole Pig

Updated: Feb 8

If you've never bought a half or whole pig before and have questions like; how much meat can I expect? How much freezer space will I need? And what are my options for cutting & wrapping? Read on. We hope to answer all these questions for you.

All this starts with the hanging weight of the pig. That is the weight at the butchers before they cut up the meat into individual portions and remove all the extra bones & trim. We aim for our average pig to have a hanging weight of 170lb. but we have some smaller and some bigger. We can do our best to give you a smaller or bigger one if you have a preference, just let us know when you order. From the hanging weight you can expect 70-80% back in packaged meat, so for a 170lb. pig you can expect 120-136lb. of meat back. If you choose to get all boneless cuts you will get less total weight back then if you get bone in cuts.

As for freezer space you will need approximately 5-6 cu. ft. for that same pig. Which is about the size of your average apartment size chest freezer.

Let's breakdown that 170lb. pig some. There are 8 main parts to the pig, The upper shoulder (Boston Butt) ~10%, the lower shoulder (Picnic) ~10%, Loin ~21%, Hind ~25%, Belly ~16%, Ribs ~5%, Hocks ~3% & Trim ~10%. Your options for each portion are as follows:

Boston Butt: Roasts, Steaks, or Ground

Picnic: Roasts, Steaks or Ground

Loin: Roasts, Chops, Cutlets or Ground

Hind: Hams (Cured or Uncured), Steaks (Cured or Uncured), Cutlets or Ground

Belly: Bacon, Side Pork (Uncured Belly) or Ground

Ribs: Sweet&Sour/Short Ribs, BBQ/Long Ribs or Ground

Hocks: Hocks or Ground

Trim: Can be Ground and kept plain or made into Sausage.

You can also choose to keep the fat, bones (soup or dog), and/or organs (liver, heart, kidney) if you would like.

Note: Anything you choose to grind could be kept plain or farther processed into sausages.


After you have decided how you want each part cut you need to decide what size packages you want. How big your roasts & hams should be, how many steaks/chops/cutlets do you want per package, how thick do you want the steaks/chops cut (3/4in is standard) and how much ground meat/bacon do you want in a package.

If you are getting your ground meat turned into sausage you can choose which kind(s) of sausage from the options on the processors website (Currently we do not have a processor, stay tuned) Unless you are turning whole portions of the pig into ground you will only have enough ground for 1 variety of sausage.


Below I have laid out the pricing and how that works out for a whole or half pig.

Whole Pig

Hanging Weight

~170lb.

Packaged Weight

~120-136lb.

Amount paid to Farmer

$3.75/lb. (hanging) = ~$638

Amount paid to Butcher (For Basic Processing)

~ $310 ($1.35/lb. plus $80) Plus GST

Additional for Sausage

$2.95-$4.60/lb. Plus GST

Additional for Bacon & Ham Curing

​$3.25/lb. plus $0.35/lb. for slicing the bacon if desired plus GST.

Approx. Grand Total (Just Cut & Wrap)

~$963

= ~$7.52/lb.

Approx. Grand Total (All Hams & Bacon Cured & Sliced, & Trim turned into Sausage)

~$1207

= ~$9.43/lb.

*All prices are just estimates based off previous pigs and will vary depending on the options you choose*

*Prices subject to change, see processors website for details - Currently we are using Harmony's Way Family Farm for our pork processing*

*Prices last updated Feb 8,2024*


For an example of a pig on the small end of the spectrum see this post: Small Pig

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