Whole Hog at butcherIndividual animals vary but our estimate on a young hog, less than one year old and ready for the butcher, is weighing around 250 lbs on the hoof or call this the live weight of the hog. The butcher skins and guts the animals, so they are ready for the cooler and then takes what’s called the “hanging weight”.

An average “hanging weight” or carcass weight of a young hog that has a live weight of approximately 250 lbs is around 180 lbs. A side usually weighs around 90 lbs. This weight is taken while the meat is still warm and before the dry aging process begins in the cooler. This refers to the hanging weight or the gross weight by which the carcass is sold. This is the weight at which the butcher charges for cutting and packaging the meat. We also charge the buyer by this weight. Remember, the price that one pays is based on the hanging weight. The following information should help customers understand that “it’s not all meat”. This will help you understand the amount of meat to be processed, the weight that you can expect to receive, and the percentages lost through boning, fat removal, and trimmings.

Of course, it must be realized by consumers that the size of the animal, the amount of fat, the grade of meat, and the amount of trimming and boning that is done by the meat processor all affect the percentage of meat that the consumer will receive. The information provided should be considered as a guide to the amount of meat to be received.

When buying pork one must realize the importance of how much fat is on the carcass because this will influence the amount of product in the packages. That’s why our finishing process has less waste from trimming of fat while still maintaining excellent marbling qualities and provides a superior product with outstanding flavor and tenderness.

Typical live weight 250 lbs, carcass weight 180 lbs. (72% of live weight), Saleable retail cuts 140 lbs. (56% of live weight). Head, fat, bones and skin 40 lbs. Saleable retail cuts would be approximately: Ham 44 lbs, Loin area & chops 32 lbs., Cured or Fresh Picnic roasts 12 lbs., Boston butt roasts or slices 13 lbs., Bacon 27 lbs. and Sausage 12 lbs.

So, there are only about 32 pounds of pork chops for every 250 pounds of live weight or 180 pounds carcass weight. This leaves 108 pounds of other pork cuts to be sold. That is why a meat retailer needs to price pork so that all cuts sell. Since pork chops are in great demand and are relatively easy to prepare, especially in small portions, it is necessary to sell chops at a higher price per pound. To stay in business, the retailer must charge enough for each individual package of pork to cover the price paid to the producer, the cost of processing, transportation, refrigeration, labor, business overhead and other merchandising costs. It is necessary to include these costs in the retail price of pork.

Weights will vary with the customized cuts of meat you choose and the way you need it packaged. Animals also vary in size and yield. Some people will get a little more and others a little less. All prices are subject to change without notice. Pricing at the time your order is placed will apply.

You, your family and friends can have a healthier life by eating all natural Vegetable Diet Fed Pork from Circle K’s Angus Farm.

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Click here for the Butcher’s Questions.