It is simple really, I should have called in August to have them put on the schedule for processing in October. Naively I picked up the phone last week, called a local butcher, and was told that they would be happy to process the pigs after the 1st of the year. What?! But they are only two little pigs, surely they can be fit in to the schedule? With a giggle that could only mean "Oh, you silly first time pig lady", I was informed that scheduling begins in early August, and that as of November the facility shuts down, sterilizes, and prepares for deer season. After which they shut down again, sterilize, and open back up in January for regular business. Surely not all facilities do this, so I called another. And another. And yet another. After seven calls, and seven identical answers I realized I would have to rethink this whole pig thing.
The frustration that comes with a simple lack of knowledge is always a hard pill to swallow. Why didn't I call sooner? Why didn't just one of the dozens of people I spoke to about raising these pigs warn me of this Autumn shut down? Why did I think this would be an easy endeavor? Each passing day they grow larger and harder to contain, although they are still in the normal range for butchering. I only know this because I have since been scouring every pig article I can find about home processing. Could I butcher them myself? Oh. heck no, but I still want to know what is involved in the process so I am better informed. For now, we continue to move their pen around every few days, and let them out to run free and frolic in the pasture an hour or so each morning. As long as they have to be a part of our farm, they will have the best quality of life I can give them. I just pray there is a sudden opening in the butcher's schedule before December!
God bless, and happy farming!