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
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
-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?
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!
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.
The best place to pray for a good crop is at the end of a hoe!
There is no greater crime than stealing somebody's best friend. I miss you tiny ad:
advertising for free (and not-free) on permies.com