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Buying Butcher Ready Critters

Discussion in 'Processing For Meat' started by lcertuche, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Feb 10, 2017
    lcertuche

    lcertuche Loving the herd life

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    I haven't raised any pigs or steers but still want some meat. Is it worth it to buy it on the hoof and kill and process it yourself. I haven't killed or processed anything bigger than a deer (actually many deers) but I think I could manage it with my husbands help. My husband and I both worked in a beef plant cutting steaks which I know isn't the same but I know how to handle a knife and keep it sharp.

    Another thought is do slaughterhouses sell halves or quarters of critters and you do the cutting up and packing to save $$$? I really want to buy some meat without spending a fortune.
     
  2. Feb 10, 2017
    NH homesteader

    NH homesteader Herd Master

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    The biggest concern for me would be not knowing what they ate or if they were given medication with a withdrawal period, etc. I would keep it and feed it for a while myself, just to make sure.
     
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  3. Feb 10, 2017
    farmerjan

    farmerjan Loving the herd life

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    There are places here that you can get to do the butchering and then you can pick up the animal to process yourself. Talk to the local butcher, or ask around at the local feed store if anyone has an animal to kill and that you are looking for a half. Some of the state inspected places around here will know someone who has a quarter or half that they didn't sell or someone who backed out at the last minute. There are sources, you just need to get out and ask. Watch the local paper, or go to the local auction barn. They usually have a bulletin board where people advertise things like that.
     
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  4. Feb 11, 2017
    farmerjan

    farmerjan Loving the herd life

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    One thing to think about if you do your own processing, do you have the freezer capacity to get the meat frozen fast enough? These guys have freezers that will freeze it in a few hours. You cannot afford to "slow freeze" your meat. And most home freezers do not have the space to spread everything out to get it frozen quickly if you are talking a half beef. A deer would be in the neighborhood of 50-100 lbs meat at a time max. A half beef would be in the neighborhood of 250 lbs or more....Not saying it isn't a good idea to do your own; but I just don't see the savings in doing it yourself as opposed to having it done. Smaller quantities, yes. But when you think all the bags to vacuum pack and the time you are putting in and having to push to get it done...then what it will cost to run that freezer at the highest capacity to try to get it all frozen "quickly" you may not be much ahead.
    Our local place will cut it up any way that you want to and being able to go pick it up and just bring it home and stick it in the freezer is not too big a price for me to pay.
    I spend enough time and effort in doing the garden produce, and sometimes I have trouble finding enough space to get it spread out enough to get it all frozen quickly. And I have 3 freezers since I have at least one beef done at a time for here. Not counting the various chickens, and then the garden produce. I can alot of my fruits, but I do freeze the "berries".
     
  5. Feb 11, 2017
    lcertuche

    lcertuche Loving the herd life

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    I have a big freezer and it hasn't got much in it right now because I'm wanting to buy meat and I know it will take up space. I hadn't thought about the quick freeze. We have a freezer on the side refrigerator that has been empty for quite some time. I need to get a new hinge for it and I would like to can a lot of meat too. I think it's doable if its not too big. I was going to go halves with someone. The last time I bought a cow to butcher it was a dollar a pound to process. I will call around and see what I can find out.
     
  6. Feb 12, 2017
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Just today on the way back from dropping my trailer off for repair I swung through a feed store to ask about local butchers. They directed me to one local that was one road off the main road, so no way you could see it. They want .95/pound hanging weight, so he was telling me a 1000 pound cow would be ~500 lbs hanging so basically $500 for butcher, plus a $75 processing fee and a $25 disposal fee, so $600 total (includes freezing). He said it would end up being about a 60-65% return in meat so say 300-325 pounds. He does offer vacuum packing for an additional .50/pound. He does offer hanging for as long as I desire or he'll make the call based on experience as to when the meat is ready. He said pure/true grass fed is much leaner and doesn't hang as long as it drys out.The owner also owns a ranch specializing in grass fed angus, and sells his own meat. You might call your butcher shop and see what they'd charge you for 1/2 a cow.
     
  7. Feb 12, 2017
    lcertuche

    lcertuche Loving the herd life

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    Great advice. I looked up some places on the internet and will be letting my fingers do the walking (phoning) Monday.
     
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  8. Apr 5, 2017
    Red the butcher

    Red the butcher Ridin' The Range

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    I slaughter and butcher all our animals. Its easy. You can buy a pig and process it yourself for a lot cheaper than you can raise it, but as nh said you should know what they have been treated with so you can make sure its out of them. Get a good meat grinder, sharp knife, and a saw. You can convert an old fridge into a meat locker so you can hang them. Or get a coolbot and build a cooler. In my opinion a cooler is the most important part.
     
  9. Apr 12, 2017
    lcertuche

    lcertuche Loving the herd life

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    There is plenty around here who raise meat. Most folks raise them exactly how I would do it. It wouldn't be too hard to find something.