This time of year I get a lot of call for small pigs -- 6 to 15lbs, usually with the request that they be still on the sow. It's basically the pig version of veal, and several different cultures have a suckling pig as a celebration meal. Weddings, wakes, birthdays, fiestas...
I've posted entries about how to prepare this size pig (or one that's a little larger,) here, and that covers the basic field dressing of the animal, but I've found that the scalding/scraping is the hard part of this process.
Once the animal is dead, having a good scald is important for the complete removal of the hair and outer layer of skin. I've found that a temperature between 140 and 145 degrees F. to be the range that works best for me if I have a situation where I can heat the water continuously to keep it at that range.
Immersion in the water for 3-4 minutes, with a little agitation to make sure that the whole pig is exposed, makes the hair removal pretty easy. It still does take some time, and you still will need a razor or sharp knife to remove some of the hair, but the majority comes off with some finger-pressure scrubbing. If the animal is particularly dirty, a little detergent added to the water makes things easier.
The pig in the picture is was 20lbs live weight, and dressed at 14.5lbs, which is pretty consistent with the yield you get from larger pigs -- live weight to hanging weight.
The final prep for this animal is to position it while it is still limp into the cooking posture that will be used. This particular animal has been positioned so that it's appropriate for spit-roasting. The hind legs are tucked in below the body, towards the head, and the front legs are pointed towards the rear of the animal. The goal of this is to make a nice cylinder of the animal, so that when the spit is inserted the pig will roast evenly. If a leg stuck out (was closer to the heat) that portion would burn. Here's a picture of an 80lb pig in the right position.
Alternatives to this is to butterfly the pig -- split it along the backbone, but leave the two halves connected -- for roasting flat in the la caja china style. For pictures of this, check here.
Some cultures want to bury their bbq, and that's tasty too. I've found that visually the spit roasted pigs are best, but as far as taste goes, the pit-roasted or caja pigs are best. The tongans put sugar syrup on the outside of the pig as they spit roast it -- it browns the skin nicely.