What is a Half Hog Share?

Half hog shares are a wonderful way to reduce your grocery bill, stock your freezer full of local, humanely-raised meat, and take a stab at eating tail-to-snout! Before joining this adventure, a few things you should consider:

Freezer Space

The first thing you need to consider before signing up: do you have a freezer? If not, you need to buy one. A half of a pig takes a lot of room. It will not fit in a standard freezer on the side/top of your fridge. You need to have a separate freezer that has plenty of room.

Reduce Your Grocery Bill

Really? Yes! Have you witnessed the rising cost of bacon or had a hard time finding a pork roast without the use of antibiotics? A half hog share from us guarantees your freezer is filled with humanely-raised pork. Pigs that have a large space to roam and graze. They have been raised with access to pasture and root crops for their digging pleasure. They have been fed things like whey from local farms, spent grains from the beer brewing process, and given a lot of attention and love. You can’t really find that at the grocery store. In addition to that, you will pay a flat per pound amount based on the hanging weight of your specific hog. While it will be a larger up front cost, in the long run, purchasing in bulk, you will be saving money.

What do I get?

Getting a half hog share is as adventurous as you want it to be. If you are a standard pork lover and want thick pork chops, bacon, sausage, and a boston butt, you got it! You can order your meat to your exact specification, whether it’s 3/4″ or 1″ chops, wrapped in packs of 2 or 4. You will have total control over how your share will be cut and wrapped. You can even get all sausage if your heart desires!

But getting a half hog share allows you to be a little more adventurous too! If you want to try things like making your own sausage, curing your own pork belly, rendering lard, or even trying head cheese or pate, here is your chance! You can literally eat a pig tail-to-snout and get every scrap of your share. And we are here to help. We have experimented with every part of our pigs. They are delicious and so much fun for the adventurous cook. We hope to share recipes and maybe even some classes at the farm for some of these more advanced cooking ideas.

Ready for half a hog?

Jump over to our Products & Pricing page for details.

Buying Meat Chickens: How it Works

We’re thrilled to offer pastured meat chickens for our community. Each year looks a little different, but here’s a quick overview of how we sell our chickens. Click HERE to learn more about our Freedom Ranger chickens.

How many pastured meat chickens should I order?

We encourage you to think about how often your family eats chicken and how much freezer space you have available. We also encourage you to divide the number of chickens you plan to purchase across all available pickup dates.

For example, if you would like to have one roasted chicken per month, you will need 12 birds and should pick up four birds at each date (the amount of pickup dates varies each year). Our family usually eats one chicken per week so we plan for 50 chickens/year. Some customers plan extra chickens for the last pickup to stock up for winter and help with summer freezer space.

How do I reserve my chickens? How much do they cost?

To reserve your chickens, you must submit a deposit along with your order form. For every chicken you order, you will send in a $5 deposit. So, for 12 birds, you would send a $60 deposit. That amount is deducted from your pickup cost. When you come to pick up your order, each chicken is weighed and bagged. The chickens cost $4.50/lb, so if the chicken weights 4 lbs., it would cost $18, minus the $5 deposit and you would owe $13 at pickup.

Do you really process them yourselves? 

Yes. We really do. Also following strict AWA standards.

Chicken feet? SERIOUSLY?

Yup. you can choose to take home your chicken feet with you. You can also take the neck, liver, and gizzards too. For chicken newbies, you might be thinking why on earth would I want the feet?!? Well, the feet are incredible sources of vitamins, minerals, and gelatin. The easiest way to enjoy the wonderful things inside chicken feet is to make chicken stock. It’s a great way to stretch the chicken you just bought too. Not only do you get the meat, but you also get some yummy stock to add to soup or other dishes too! A nutritional bonus.

Pick up day. What do I need to bring? What do I need to know?

Before pickup day, you will receive an email reminder that explains all of the instructions, so you don’t need to remember this now. The whole chickens are placed in simple plastic bags and are fresh, not frozen. For many of you, your chickens are destined for the freezer, so feel free to bring heavy duty freezer bags with you. We can put your chickens straight in there so you don’t have to worry about the messy transfer at home. You should also bring a cooler to transport the chickens. Optional pickup day supplies: beverages, instruments, camping chair! We are often hanging out, enjoying a cold one, and playing music on these days. You are more than welcome to join in.

Ok. Now I have a whole chicken. What do I do?  HALP!

FIRST. When you bring home your chicken, we recommend that you let it rest in your fridge for at least 1 day and up to 4 days before you cook OR freeze it. We have come to find over the years, this resting phase is crucial to a tender, juicy end product. The resting process allows the muscles, tendons, and meat to relax. Of course, many people cook them right away and they ain’t bad, but you will notice a more tender, juicier bird if you allow a rest time. Now on to the cooking part…

Many people are not accustomed to cooking whole chickens. Our convenience driven society has taken this skill away from most modern home kitchens. So, we’re here to help bring it back. We are hoping to host a little cook day this year on the farm, but in the meantime, here is a post that will help. It has links to tutorials to demonstrate cutting up a chicken, several basic roasting recipes, plus some ideas on using leftover chicken too! And of course, making chicken stock is one of the best things you can do to stretch the chicken for additional meals and to boost your nutrition too! As always, please please contact us if you need some help. We LOVE talking food, it’s the entire reason we started in the farm business to begin with!

So, this whole process seems super cool, could we like come watch you or tour your setup?

Uh-huh. In fact, our “processing” days depend on volunteers and helpers. Even if you’ve never done this before, your presence is welcome! We have many jobs that land on the spectrum between “down and dirty”  and “just here to observe, thanks.”  We truly value all our helpers on processing day and you get to learn a bit of old world self-sufficiency. Plus, you get to take home a free chicken for your time, score! Let us know if you’d like to visit or volunteer by emailing callywoodfarms@gmail.com. For those that are interested in using our equipment and experience to help process your own chickens, we are happy to do that too…all we ask is that you pitch in on processing day.