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Planning my personal butcher shop. Help me with what I need.

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I’ve had a side business/family food farm for about 8 years now

We’ve raised chickens, pigs, meat chickens, egg layers, turkeys, ducks and cattle.

I have processed hundreds of meat chickens, a couple dozen turkeys, a few ducks and finally last year a pig. For chickens and pigs I did it from ending life to cutting up and smoking/curing/freezing/packaging.

I have not processed any of our cattle yet.

I’ve been unhappy with butcher shops for years and have tried all the ones in the area.  It seems like no one gets it quite right, and now the lead times for appointments are crazy.

To help with owning my own destiny and controlling quality I am going to build a butcher shop on site for myself.

Things I have:
Building: I am tearing down a cabin that is about 6 years old since it is where our house is going to be.  It is enough material for a 20x30 ish shop

Smoker:  I have a big pellet smoker that I got recently and have smoked all the different kinds of meats

Knives:  bought various knives and for the pig and for chickens and frankly prefer my replaceable 3-4” razor knife

Chicken processing:  whiz bang plucker that works great, killing cones, stainless table with sinks

Freezers: I have 6 freezers so I am good there for now

Things I have but need better (please suggest):
Packaging:  I have a food saver that works but I need bigger and faster

Scalder:  currently using a turkey scalder because my electric scalder had an element go out years ago and is too slow.  

Grinder:  I have a pathetic one now.  I might as well just cut it up into pieces myself

Slicer:  works ok for roasts but not for bacon

Scale:  have a non digits scale up to 44 lbs but would like one digital that could tie to a label maker

Refrigerator for curing bacon/ham and cooking chickens:  it is 18’ top mount so has decent space but not for chickens and not for multiple pigs.  I want a walk in refrigerator

Things I know I need/want I don’t have (since I did that pig):
-meat bandsaw:  sawing by hand and then using a saws all wasn’t fun.
- bigger table to cut up meat on
-tubs to store cut up meat and keep them separate
-pig scalder
-label maker for packaging
-electric hoist to lift for gutting and also to move into building.

Long term will be trying to get a walk in freezer and fridge to add to the building (not part of the 20x30) and then remove the fridge and couple freezers

This will be a build it and make it better as you can afford type of project.  I will do the construction  

What am I forgetting?  Anything that made your life easier? What suggestions do you have for equipment that you know is good?

Also, any suggestions on lay out?

master pollinator
Posts: 3311
Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
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Walter Jefferies of Sugar Mountain Farm details his journey of building his butcher shop at this link.

Our family built our own USDA/State inspected on-farm slaughterhouse and butcher shop – an amazing journey of a family designed, built, owned and operated on-farm modern meat processing facility with an old world feel

Something there is sure to be useful to you. Good luck!
Posts: 203
Location: N.E.Ohio 5b6a
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We have found the best way to slice bacon is to put it in the freezer after cold smoking it.  We use cookie sheets to freeze on. Ours look like store bought.  Our bone saw makes cutting up things like steaks and pork chops so much easer.
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