mobile meat processing unit

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by syringaweb, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. syringaweb

    syringaweb Well-Known Member

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    Virginia
    Hello all,
    I'd like to pick some knowledgeable brains.

    Is anyone involved in, or knowledgeable of a mobile slaughter unit (come to the farm to butcher and process) in your area?

    I saw a website of a co-op in Washington that had one.

    How hard is it to get started. A group of us here in Virginia are interested in such a thing.

    Our local state alternative agriculture rep. is maxed out with his duties, and said it's about convincing the USDA.

    thanks to everyone for any responses,
    Michelle
     
  2. Unfortunately you are talking about two different processes. Butchering and processing.

    Usually before processing, the critter is butchered, then chilled for a time period in order to "age". Not many farms have chilling rooms for aging. Not sure what critters would be like if they were butchered then immediately processed.

    There certainly are mobile processing plants and canning plants. The Mennonites have such a unit, and I expect that the LDS churches do too.

    I have volunteered to help can in order to just see such facilities, but the arrival of the mobile canning facility never coincided with my days off.

    Perhaps I'm assuming too much thinking that you would want to do some large scale canning, in addition to the grinding and cutting to specifications.

    I guess you could simply rent a reefer truck for the aging time, and simply go from farm to farm to collect the carcasses as they are butchered.

    When I was a kid the local shop came to our farm and did the slaughtering. They used a tripod of planks and a chain hoist to suspend the carcass. The carcass was then hauled to their shop for aging and later processing.
     

  3. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Vancouver Island BC
    We have a few on the island here that come to your place and butcher poultry only, They are cube vans with stainless sinks, pluckers, vats with hot water etc and they do the job quicky and cleanly. Minimum is 50 chickens, they'll do less but still charge you for 50. $2.50 a bird 5lbs and under and the price increases from there. They take away the guts and clean the area when they are finished. Most people use them as there is no poultry eviscerating (sp) plant on our island anymore. In my general area there are 2 of them and you have to book in ADVANCE as they are that busy.
    corry
     
  4. syringaweb

    syringaweb Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Virginia
    Thanks for the replies.

    To give a little more reasoning and explanation of what I'm talking about:

    Yes, I understand that butchering and processing (of 4 legged beasts) is different. I'm talking about a refrigerated trailer (or the like) that comes to the farm for slaughter day, then takes the carcass(es) away for aging and cutting/grinding.

    I'm asking from the standpoint of pastured livestock owners in my area that consider driving their animals about 80 miles to the closest slaughter facility a major drawback.

    Here's the Washington article to which I referred:
    http://www.sanjuanislander.com/groups/lopez-trust/first-article.shtml#meat

    thanks to all!
    Michelle
     
  5. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Contact Joel Salatin at Polyface Farm in Swoope, VA. Ask him for a referral for further inforamtion. Just write to that address with the zipcode. Joel will get it.



    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  6. syringaweb

    syringaweb Well-Known Member

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Location:
    Virginia
    thanks Ken, I'm familiar with Mr. Salatin. I'll contact him.
    Also, it seems there was a thread (a month or so back, maybe) that had info. about freezer curing, I searched for it but couldn't find it.
     
  7. The article said it all. I really like the idea, if it would be too costly.

    I don't see why a few homesteaders or knowledgable farmers don't get together and build a portable slaughter unit, and chilling unit, that could be slid on a 16' trailer, maybe two. That way the trailers wouldn't be tied up all of the time. They might even rent out the chiller portion of it to a shop for additional hanging room during hunting seasons.

    There are enough hunters that surely one would be willing to work with others at butchering time for a little meat in return. Maybe just help with the processing of theirs.

    Sure sounds like a great cooperative adventure to me. Yup, I think you are on to something good.
     
  8. Michelle, there is a outfit in my area that does just what you are asking. They come out and euthinize the animal, load it up and take it back to there processing plant. There processing plant is located right in the middle of town and there is no holding pens so they have to go out and get the animal thereselves. They charge a little extra for doing this but a lot of people say it is worth it since the animal isn't stressed out before being euthinized. They say the meat is much better. If you don't currently have a processing plant within a 45 minute drive from the area then you should get all the business around there.