Quantcast
How big of a freezer do I need... - Homesteading Today
Homesteading Today

Come enter the Lehman's Aladdin Lamp Giveaway!

Go Back   Homesteading Today > General Homesteading Forums > Homesteading Questions


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 07/02/07, 10:06 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Roaming Zone 6A
Posts: 147
How big of a freezer do I need...

For:

1 cow
1 pig
100 chickens
2 geese
3 turkeys

And what if I just have half of those? (Half a pig, half a cow, etc.)

I'm trying to figure out what size freezer I need and looking at all of that meat at once, it just seems like I'd need a walk in locker.

Any ideas would be appreciated. (Or send me to the forum that I should be at!)

Thanks in advance!

__________________

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."

William Congreve (January 24, 1670 – January 19, 1729) the English playwright and poet.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07/02/07, 10:40 PM
texican's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Carthage, Texas
Posts: 12,052

I've seen pigs as large as most cows. My uncle brought his last hog home from the locker plant... 700lbs of packaged meat.

I'd say you're looking at at least two large chest types. I doubt if the largest commonly available chest freezer would hold all of those critters. With two freezers, you also have some flexibility, and backup capability, if the other fails.

I'd probably put the cow and hog in the freezer, and let the rest walk around a while, and eat em fresh, when needed (that is, if the critters are still alive).

__________________

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Seneca
Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival. W. Edwards Deming

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07/03/07, 06:43 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southside Virginia
Posts: 681

For what's listed atleast 2 or 3 freezers! 100 meat type chickens will take up a freezer. How about salting/smoking the pig? Maybe canning the other meats? If you have two freezers, fill up one completely, then as you are filling the other one use only meat from the first. Use the first one up completely, then start on the second. This way you will never have old meat, It seems that with one freezer only the stuff on top gets eaten, the stuff on the bottom keeps getting covered again and just sits there for years!

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07/03/07, 07:13 AM
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,188

Wow- you really need a couple of large chest freezers. Have you considered canning any of this meat? If your power goes out for any length of time you may lose the stuff in your freezer.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07/03/07, 07:30 AM
bill not in oh's Avatar  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,869

For:

1 cow - can't help with this, but I suspect about 30 cu ft
1 pig = 7 cu ft if the live weight at slaughter is 240 lbs
100 chickens = about 25 cu ft (average 5 lbs dressed)
2 geese = about 3 cu ft
3 turkeys = about 6-10 cu ft depending on breed (BBW will be much larger than most heritage breeds)

Side note: If you are going to store this much meat, buy a good generator. Having it split between 2-3 freezers won't give you any "backup" advantage as they will all be full.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07/03/07, 07:38 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: NW Georgia
Posts: 5,747

What Texican said.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07/03/07, 08:41 AM
Cabin Fever's Avatar
NRA LifeMember since 1976
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
Posts: 13,423

Wow, how big of a family do you have? You do know, that the quality of the meat detriorates after being frozen for a year. Can you really consume that much meat in a year or so?

__________________
This is the government the Founding Fathers warned us about.....
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07/03/07, 08:45 AM
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Georgia
Posts: 632

You don't need a freezer! What you really need is to have a great big BBQ and invite all of us!
lol

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07/03/07, 09:05 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: colorado
Posts: 4,379

How about getting one large freezer and canning the rest of the meat.
I can a lot of meat and save the freezer space for other things.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07/03/07, 10:11 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,996

a walk in, one of the big ones you can drive the fork lift in,

Quote:
http://www.askthemeatman.com/freezing_tips.htm
How much freezer space will you need?
One cubic foot of freezer space will hold approximately 30 lbs. to 32 lbs. of beef.
two large chest freezers or three medium sized freezers, in my opinion,
our large one is 23 cubic foot, and we have two smaller ones about a third less in size is my guess, there in the barn so I am not going to look,

we just put 75 chickens into one (I call it medium sized chest freezer) and it is 3/4 filled,
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07/03/07, 10:14 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 141

I have never canned meat does it not get mushy after awhile? Do you can it with seasonings added? Or does it overpower the meat overtime?

Cheers

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07/03/07, 11:49 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: colorado
Posts: 4,379
Quote:
Originally Posted by wewantout
I have never canned meat does it not get mushy after awhile? Do you can it with seasonings added? Or does it overpower the meat overtime?

Cheers
I've never had any get mushy, and I've been canning since 1972?. I can't remember my mom or grandma having any trouble with mushy meat either.

I also can with seasonings most of the time. Some herbs do get stronger with the canning process, you can use a small amount of herbs or just season to taste when you use the meat.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07/03/07, 12:01 PM
Luvin' my family in MO
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Missouri
Posts: 2,165

Really kinda depends on how big they all are. If you butcher the cow at 800 lbs or 1300 lbs makes a big difference, same with the pig. 100 chickens just about fills our upright to overflowing. However we have a lady at our church who butchers her chickens at 1 1/2 lbs so they wouldn't take up near as much space. We just had a hog butchered at 180 lbs and it filled up 2 shelves in our upright. Currently we have a hog, deer and probably 60 chickens in a upright and a small chest freezer and they are pretty full. I agree with CF that unless you are feeding a very large family a lot of meat maybe you could butcher at different times to make sure nothing has a chance to get to old. We kinda stager ours out for that reason.

__________________
Psalms 116:1-2 "I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live."
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07/03/07, 12:06 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,477

My vote is for the BIG BBQ.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07/03/07, 12:15 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,876

I was looking at a meat locker sale a couple of weeks ago and according to their figures you could put 250 lbs. of beef in a 9 cu. ft. chest freezer. That was the weight before being cut and wrapped. So, if you have an idea of the weight of the cow and pig, you can roughly figure from that.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07/03/07, 02:59 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 119

My mom butchered 2 calves last year. Their combined packaged weight was about 400 pounds. She has a large upright freezer and a small chest type freezer and that was not enough to hold all the meat.

__________________

I think, therefore, I am. I am because of the Great I Am.

Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07/03/07, 03:59 PM
bill not in oh's Avatar  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,869

Pork and beef should take up about the same space. I can put 450 lbs of pork in my 21 cu ft upright. There's not much air left in it, but it fits....

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07/03/07, 04:01 PM
Dutch Highlands Farm
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Along the Stillaquamish, Washington
Posts: 1,642

I think a large chest freezer could handle everything but the chickens. Chickens are bulky for the weight, that is a three pound chicken will take up more room than a three pound roast. For the same reason, its much harder to prevent freezer burn with chickens. So, for me, I'd reduce the number of chickens and raise two or three batches each year rather than one big batch.
That said, how many are you feeding and for how long, because that is a horrendous amount of meat.

__________________

If angels existed, they'd probably be considered big game. (Don Swain)

Home schooling.........not just for scary religious people anymore. Buffy

Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07/03/07, 04:35 PM
QuiltingLady2's Avatar
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,603

We have the largest chest freezer that whirlpool made in the late 90's. We call it the 3 person freezer. I don't believe there is a freezer made that will take all of that. You may just need two.

JMO TIFWIW

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07/03/07, 04:45 PM
bill not in oh's Avatar  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,869

Oh I'm pretty sure this one would handle it nicely.... LOL

http://www.acitydiscount.com/Nor-Lak....43417.1.1.htm

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 07/03/07, 04:49 PM
QuiltingLady2's Avatar
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,603

Now that is a big freezer. With a very big price tag.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 07/03/07, 05:30 PM
bill not in oh's Avatar  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,869

However, if you're storing almost $5000 worth of meat.... (of course that would be an approximate retail value)

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 07/03/07, 10:36 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Roaming Zone 6A
Posts: 147

Wow, everyone! Thanks for all of the replies!

But now I feel a bit silly. I was honestly thinking what would I need for a year. I keep seeing sales for like half a cow or half a hog and the deals on 100 chicks seems so nice, well to be telling the truth this will only be for myself and my son, who is going to be 9 whole months on the 19th. I guess I may have overshot the number of animals. *sheepish grin*

I have never canned and never even thought of canning meat before but I might try. So 1/2 a hog for a year is too much? I'm new to being on my own with just a little one and I. The key phrase at dinner was the more the merrier so I guess I need to figure out just how much we'll be eating! Right now it's mostly processed things like canned soups and taco bell but coming here really makes me want to buy meat locally. That and I'd rather be able to drive by a farm and say to my son, "That right there is Mr. Smith's farm. That's where we got our bacon from." Etc.

SO I guess a different question would be, how much meat would a single mother and an infant need without having to go to the grocers for it...

And THEN how big of a freezer do I need.

(I think I'll have to go to the food board and figure out the whole canning thing.)

Once again thank you ALL for the replies. I get on at night so I apologize for the delay. I have to wait till the baby's asleep.

__________________

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."

William Congreve (January 24, 1670 – January 19, 1729) the English playwright and poet.

Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07/03/07, 11:33 PM
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Georgia
Posts: 532

Ha! I'd say you may have over shot a bit...

Actually, it's pretty easy to estimate your meat needs. How much meat do you eat in a week, or a month? Do you have meat with ever meal, or just dinner? It all depends on what you eat. Say you use a pound or two of hamburger, and a chicken a week. So, plan on 4 or 5 chickens a month, and 5 pounds of hamberger. Throw in a steak or two, and how ever much bacon, sausage and /or ham. Once you know what you plan eat in a month, multiply by twelve.

For one person, I'll bet it's a good deal less than half a cow which is several hundred pounds of meat!

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 07/04/07, 12:14 AM
Dutch Highlands Farm
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Along the Stillaquamish, Washington
Posts: 1,642

Figure out how much you'll need for a year, then visit your local custom slaughterhouse or butchershop. They can sell you a "package" at a good price and I've found the quality is much better than what the grocers carry, although it isn't home grown. Unless of course you live in a state where custom meat can be sold by the pound.
Also, get to know your local farmers. Nothing like a plate of cookies to get a farmer to butcher some chickens for you at a good price.

__________________

If angels existed, they'd probably be considered big game. (Don Swain)

Home schooling.........not just for scary religious people anymore. Buffy

Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 07/04/07, 04:57 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Maine
Posts: 3,620

For me, DH, and three kids 7 and under, we need a small pig, about 75 chickens, and under 1/2 a cow for the year. Plus maybe two turkeys for holidays. Here's how I loosely figure it out: a whole chicken per week plus chickens cut in parts and wrapped, pork once a week plus ground pork for other meals like meatballs and spaghetti sauce, beef twice a week, and leftovers or do-overs the rest of the time.

The problem with buying whole animals or large parts of them is that it reduces the convenience factor, since at some point, all you have left are pork roasts and chicken wings. This could be a problem for you with only one adult who's used to take-out. So think about investing in a few items that will keep food feeling convenient while honoring your (noble!) desire for local food for your family: a meat grinder to turn large cuts into ground, a crockpot to handle all the stew meat you'll get, a FoodSaver or comparable product to repackage large cuts, etc. Another thing you can do is purchase some freezer-to-oven dishware and make up some meals--mostly casseroles--that you can literally throw into the oven frozen solid. (Some of this advice is Mom advice...can you tell?!)

Lastly, evaluate whether this is the best way for you to go. Look at your eating habits for a few weeks. Then, you can try to figure out if it's cheaper to run a freezer for a while or pay an extra 50 cents a pound to buy to buy cuts a la carte for a while until you know what your deal is. Buying a new freezer is expensive, and so is running an old one, so keep that in mind; our two old 26 cu.ft. freezers easily cost us $40 a month to run, and that's when they're full. Canning meat is an excellent idea--I do it and it's great--but it's not for a newbie canner, and you should find someone who knows how to do it properly.

Best of luck. I have a lot of respect for a new mom who's traveling down your path. Your child will benefit from your actions...

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 07/04/07, 09:29 AM
bill not in oh's Avatar  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bishoujo
well to be telling the truth this will only be for myself and my son, who is going to be 9 whole months on the 19th. I guess I may have overshot the number of animals. *sheepish grin*
Shifting gears here LOL....
A lot of good points have been made since your 'disclosure', none probably more relevant than to know what your cooking/eating habits are; but also what your nutritional objectives are. How motivated are you to improve the QUALITY of the food you consume - is having beef that is raised hormone- and antibiotic-free, poultry without antibiotics and raised under humane conditions, pork raised on pasture, etc. important to you? Or are you trying to save some money?

Unless you raise them yourself, you won't probably save much money by buying bulk and storing it. But factor in the above, and it can easily be worth the initial investment in quality meat.

A half pig will provide about 60-70 lbs of finished wrapped meat depending on slaughter weight (240-250# is typical) and how you have it butchered. My customers whose family is 2 adults will consume a half in a year.

Chickens - two 5 lb chickens per week would be a LOT for you. I'll eat one per week but it accounts for 3-4 meals. Roast or smoke one say on Sunday, then sliced chicken sandwich, Tomato stuffed with chicken salad, boil the carcass for chicken soup. I can't really imagine that you and a one year old would eat appreciably more than I do by myself.

Duck, geese, turkey - find a local supplier that raises them to your standard and buy on demand.

Christiaan had good advice about beef. You probably won't get as good a price as if you buy a half, but a half cow would probably last you three years. Most states allow on-farm processing - outside of that the meat must be processed at a USDA fully inspected facility; or some states allow processing at a state fully inspected facility in order to sell wrapped cuts. Find a local producer and if they don't sell wrapped cuts ask them where they get their animals processed, then buy from the processor - many sell individual cuts or custom packages that can save you some money.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 07/04/07, 10:24 AM
hunter63's Avatar  
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,991

Those were some very good answers and you can tell that the was a lot of thought behind them.
The eating habit question IS the biggest factor.

I can personally attest to the theory, "If you have it, you will fill it".

Having downsized, kids gone, we still have two large freezers, packed.
Old habits are hard to break, and there is the "warm and fuzzy feeling", knowing that you have all that food "put by", BUT.........

Our eating habits have changed, less red meat, (for all the "health" reasons), our portions seem to have been getting smaller, as we get older, as well as simply, just not wanting to cook big meals that much.

So, that fact is that we are storing large amounts of food that will probably get tossed, as it will not get used in a timely fashion.
To me this is wasteful, both in food and energy used to keep it.
We are trying, but like I said, old habits are hard to break.

Example: buying bread stuffs in bulk and freezing it. For a long time I wasn't used to eating fresh bread, just thawed out stuff.

I think we can afford to just buy what we need, fresh or bake our own, now that we aren't feeding teenagers and friends, vast amounts of food as we did for a lot of years.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 07/04/07, 10:53 AM
vancom's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 413
My exeriences

We raised two hogs last year, and they were butchered in November 2006. We still have some in the freezer--sausage that needs to be ground and seasoned, just one smallish slab of belly to be soaked and smoked, a few big roasts and a ham. We have 1 adult, 1 teen male, 1 teen vegetarian and one big eating elementary school girl!

Today I went and got the one-half young steer we bought earlier this year. LOTS of ground beef by choice--we grill well into December here in middle TN--and all sorts of interesting steaks and small roasts, oxtail, liver, tongue, etc. This and the remaining hog meat filled the med. sized chest freezer we have. It overflowed a bit into the kitchen freezer above the fridge as well.

We eat what we have. I find myself buying things like ice cream and cakes, the things I don't have time to make. But we serve lots of veggies, lightly cooked or sauteed from the CSA, and salad-usually grow own greens when it's cooler and tomatoes and cukes when warmer.

The last year has really been one of studying what we eat, how we cook and how to make things easier--not necessarily with less money. Now, we do take satisfaction in making our own bacon and growing our own veggies in a minimal kind of way. I looked at what we really like and how I could accomlish that-we love eggs and so we have chickens. We like milk and what we can make with it, so I have a two dairy goats in milk.

One thing I have learned is that when the kids are not here, I eat very very little. Tomatoes, maybe some greens and cornbread, a steak on the grill or some sauteed chicken and herbs with rice. Add in a 9 month old, and that's nothing. Add in my 3, and you've got to cook-and I have a 19 year old with us this summer and he eats like there is no tomorrow!

Anyway, good luck!

__________________

Vanessa
Lebanon, TN

Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 07/04/07, 12:13 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Michigan's thumb
Posts: 13,254

If you figure one chicken per week, then sort out your beef and pork requirements, try to fill your freezer to last you six months to one year. You can buy a half of a half beef, which will give you all the cuts of beef, just 25% of a whole steer. You may be able to get half a pig, which should last you better than year. As for the chickens, if you can raise them yourself, do it in batches of a dozen or 15 Rhode Island Red, two or three months apart. We have a small upright, it will hold a half steer. This is way more than you need, especially when you consider pork, chicken, and the occassional vegetarian meal.

__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:13 AM.