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in the kingdom, and by judicious crossing has become the most valuable we possess, being a very well-formed pig throughout, with a good head, a pleasant docile countenance, with moderate-sized drooping ears, a broad back, slightly curved, large chine and loins, with deep sides, full chest, and well covered with long thickly-set white hairs. Besides these qualities of form, he is a quick grower, feeds fast, and will easily make from 20 to 25 stone before completing his first'year. Tho quality of the meat is also uncommonly good, the fat and lean being'laid on in almost equal proportions. So capable is this species of development, both in flesh and stature, that examples of the Yorkshire breed' have been'exhibited weighing as much as a Scotch ox.
784. Though Almost Every one In England can boast some local variety or other of this useful animal, obtained from the native stock by crossing
with some of the foreign kinds, Cumberland and the north-west parts of the kingdom have been celebrated for a small breed of white pigs, with a thick, compact, and well-made body, short in the legs, the head and back well formed, Cars on and a little downwards, and on the whole, a hardy, profitable animal, and one well disposed to fatten.
785. There Is No Variety Of This Useful Animal that presents such peculiar features as the species known to us as the Chinese pig; and as it is the general belief that to this animal and the Neapolitan hog we are indebted for that remarkable improvement which has taken place in the breeds of the English pig, it is necessary to be minute in the description of this, in allrespects/singulav animal. The Chinese, in the first place, consists of many varieties, and presents as many forms of body as differences of colour; the best kind, however, has a beautiful white skin of singular thinness and delicacy; the hair too is perfectly white, and thinly set over the body, with here and there a few
bristles. He has a broad snout, short head, eyes bright and fiery, very small fine pink ears, wide cheeks, high shine, with a neck of such immense thick
ness, that when the animal is fat it looks like an elongated carcase,—a mass of fat, without shape or form, like a feather pillow. The belly is dependent, and almost trailing on the ground, the legs very short, and the tail so small as to be little more than a rudiment. It has a ravenous appetite, and will eat anything that the wonderful assimilating powers of its stomach can digest; and to that capability, there seems no limit in the whole range of animal or vegetable nature. The consequence of this perfect and singularly rapid digestion is an unprecedented proueness to obesity, a process of fattening that, once commenced, goes on with such rapid development, that, in a short time, it loses all form, depositing such an amount of fat, that it in fact ceases to have any refuse part or offal, and, beyond the hair on its back and the callous extremity of the snout, the whole carcase is eatable.
786. When Judiciously Fed On Vegetable Diet, and this obese tendency checked, the flesh of the Chinese pig is extremely delicate and delicious; but when left to gorge almost exclusively on animal food, it becomes oily, coarse, and unpleasant. Perhaps there is no other instance in nature where the effect of rapid and perfect digestion is so well shown as in this animal, which thrives on everything, and turns to the benefit of its physical economy, food of the most opposite nature, and of the most unwholesome and offensive character. When fully fattened, the thin cuticle, that is one of its characteristics, cracks, from the adipose distension beneath, exposing the fatty mass, which discharges a liquid oil from the adjacent tissues. The great fault in this breed is the remarkably small quantity of lean laid down, to the immense proportion of fat. Some idea of the growth of this species may be inferred from the fact of their attaining to 18 stone before two years, and when further advanced, as much as 40 stone. In its pure state, except for: roasters, the Chinese pig is too disproportionate for the English market; but when crossed with some of our lean stock, the breed becomes almost invaluable.
787. The Wild Boar is a much more cleanly and sagacious animal than the domesticated hog; he is longer in the snout, has his ears shorter and his tusks considerably longer, very frequently "measuring as much as 10 inches.
They are extremely sharp, and are bent in an upward circle. Unlike his domestic brother, who roots up here and there, or wherever his fancy takes, the wild boar ploughs the ground in continuous lines or furrows. The boar, when selected as the parent of a stock, should have a small head, be deep and broad in the chest; the chine should be arched, the ribs and barrel well rounded, with the haunches falling full down nearly to the hock; and he should always be more compact and smaller than the female. The colour of the wild boar is always of a uniform hue, and generally of an iron grey; shading off into a black. The hair of the boar is of considerable length, especially about the head and mane; he stands, in general, from 20 to 30 inches in height at the shoulders, though instances have occurred where he has reached 42 inches. The young are of a pale yellowish tint, irregularly brindled with light brown. The boar of Germany is a large and formidable animal, and the hunting of him, with a small species of mastiff, is still a national sport. From living almost exclusively on acorns and nuts, his flesh is held in great esteem, and in Westphalia his legs are made into hams by a process which, it is said, enhances the flavour and quality of the meat in a remarkable degree.
788. There Are Two Points to be taken into consideration by all breeders of pigs—to what ultimate use is the flesh to be put; for, if meant to beeaten fresh, or simply salted, the small breed of pigs is best suited for the purpose; if for hams or bacon, the large variety of the animal is necessary. Pigs are usually weaned between six and eight weeks after birth, after which they are fed on soft food, such as mashed potatoes in skimmed or butter-milk. The general period at which the small hogs are killed for the market is from 12 to 16 weeks; from 4 to 5 months, they are called store pigs, and are turned out to graze till the animal has acquired its full stature. As soon as this point has been reached, the pig should be forced to maturity as quickly as possible; he should therefore be taken from the fields and farm-yard, and shut up on boiled potatoes, buttermilk, and peas-meal, after a time to be followed by grains, oil-cake, wash, barley, and Indian meal; supplying his sty at the same time with plenty of water, cinders, and a quantity of salt in every mess of food presented to him.
789. The Estimated Number Op Pigs In Great Britain is supposed to exceed 20 millions; and, considering the third of the number as worth £2 apiece, and the remaining two-thirds as of the relative value of 10s. each, would give a marketable estimate of over £20,000,000 for this animal alone.
790. The Best And Most Humane Mode or Killing All Large Hoos is to strike them down like a bullock, with the pointed end of a poleaxe, on the forehead, which has the effect of killing the animal at once; all the butcher has then to do, is to open the aorta and great arteries, and laying the animal's neck over a trough, let out the blood as quickly as possible. The carcass is then to be scalded, either on a board or by immersion in a tub of very hot water, and all the hair and dirt rapidly scraped off, till the skin is made perfectly white, when it is hung up, opened, and dressed, as.it is called, in the usual way. It is then allowed to cool, a sheet heing thrown around the carcase, to prevent the air from discolouring the newly-cleaned skin. When meant for bacon, the hair is singed instead of being scalded off.
791. In The Country, where for ordinary consumption the pork killed for sale is usually both larger and fatter than that supplied to the London consumer, it is customary to remove the skin and fat down to the lean, and, salting that, roast what remains of the joint. Pork goes further, and is consequently a more economical food than other meats, simply because the texture is closer, and there is less waste, in the cooking, either in roasting or boiling.
792. In Fresh Pork, the leg is the most economical family joint, and the loin the richest.
793. Comparatively Speaking, very little difference exists between the weight of the live and dead pig, and this, simply because there is neither the head nor the hide to be removed. It has been proved that pork loses in cooking 13£ per cent, of its weight. A salted hand weighing 4 lbs. 5 oz. lost in the cooking 11 oz,; after cooking, the meat weighing only 3 lbs. 1 oz., and the bone 9 oz. The original cost was tyd. a pound; but by this deduction, the cost rose to 9<2. per pound with the bone, and 10$d. without it.
794. Pork, To Be Preserved, is cured in several ways,—either by covering it with salt, or immersing it in ready-made brine, where it is kept till required; or it is only partially salted, and then hung up to dry, when the meat is called white bacon; or, after salting, it is hung in wood smoke till the flesh is impregnated with the aroma from the wood. The Wiltshire bacon, which is regarded as the finest in the kingdom, is prepared by laying the sides of a hog in large wooden troughs, and then rubbing into the flesh quantities of powdered baysalt, made hot in a frying-pan. This process is repeated for four days; they are then left for three weeks, merely turning the flitches every other day. After that time they are hung up to dry. The hogs usually killed for purposes of bacon in England average from 18 to 20 stone; on the other hand, the hogs killed in the country for farm-house purposes, seldom weigh less than 26 stone. The legs of boars, hogs, and, in Germany, those of bears, are prepared differently, and called hams.
795. The Practice In Voque Formerly in this country was to cut out the hams and cure them separately ; then to remove the ribs, which were roasted as
"spare-ribs," and, curing the remainder of the side, call it a "gammon of bacon."
Small pork to cut for table in joints, is cut up, in most
I 3. The spring, or belly.
The weight of the several joints of a good pork pig of four stone may be as follows; viz.:—
The leg 8 lbs.
The loin and spring . . 7 „
The hand 6" „
The chine 7 „
The cheek . . from 2 to 3 „ Of a bacon pig, the legs are reserved for curing, and when cured are called hams: when the meat is separated from the shoulder-blade and bones and cured, it is called bacon. The bones, with part of the meat left on them, are divided into spare-ribs, griskins, and chines.