Help - Rearing to table and all points in between

CrealCritter

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So I'm sitting here writting down a long term plan to totally eleminate our dependency on store bought meat.

Currently my high-level plan looks like this
  • Animal husbandry
    • Care
    • Housing
  • Processing
    • Butchering
    • Aging
    • Curing
    • Smoking
  • Storage
    • Freezing
    • Canning
I know a lot more meat needs to added to this strawman of a plan, like a building to butcher in, maybe a walk in refrigerator to age meat and a smoke house to cure meat. But I need to start somewhere.

Please help me put some meat on this strawman's bones.

Thanks
 

tortoise

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What is your weather like? I'm in WI, we get a few days of 33 - 40 degrees 24-hours in spring and fall. That's when we butcher large animals so they can hang outdoors (or a garage or wherever) safely. We have a cement block outbuilding that insulates against temperature fluctuations so we get a couple extra days that way.

We process chickens outdoors. We have a wood "garden bench" work surface outdoors. Hubby brings them inside gutted and skinned. I do the rest. I debone and can chickens. (They're best for canning at 1 - 2 years old, so this is great with heritage breeds)

We process meat on the dining room table. Venison, mutton, and lamb, so nothing really large.

My family was mostly meat-independent just with deer hunting, when we lived in town. Hung the deer in the garage, processed on the table. We have not ventured into pork or cured meats yet - probably won't ever. We receive ground beef from hubby's uncle who raises them. Other than getting bored with what we have and buying pork, bacon, or lunchmeat at the store, we are meat-independent.

Hubby watches auctions looking for a deli meat slicer. That's one thing we would add. We have a grinder - we grind a lot of the venison trimmings. We process venison all boneless, but once we started processing lamb we needed to get a bone saw for bone in cuts. They taste so much better!
 

CrealCritter

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What is your weather like? I'm in WI, we get a few days of 33 - 40 degrees 24-hours in spring and fall. That's when we butcher large animals so they can hang outdoors (or a garage or wherever) safely. We have a cement block outbuilding that insulates against temperature fluctuations so we get a couple extra days that way.

We process chickens outdoors. We have a wood "garden bench" work surface outdoors. Hubby brings them inside gutted and skinned. I do the rest. I debone and can chickens. (They're best for canning at 1 - 2 years old, so this is great with heritage breeds)

We process meat on the dining room table. Venison, mutton, and lamb, so nothing really large.

My family was mostly meat-independent just with deer hunting, when we lived in town. Hung the deer in the garage, processed on the table. We have not ventured into pork or cured meats yet - probably won't ever. We receive ground beef from hubby's uncle who raises them. Other than getting bored with what we have and buying pork, bacon, or lunchmeat at the store, we are meat-independent.

Hubby watches auctions looking for a deli meat slicer. That's one thing we would add. We have a grinder - we grind a lot of the venison trimmings. We process venison all boneless, but once we started processing lamb we needed to get a bone saw for bone in cuts. They taste so much better!
Do you have chronic wasting disease up there? That's why my brother in law comes down here to southern IL to dear hunt.

Screenshot_2018-03-16-15-47-54.png
 

Chic Rustler

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I don't have any of that stuff. But small things like rabbits and chickens are no problem. You would be surprised how much meat you can get from rabbits! And it tastes great too
 

CrealCritter

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I don't have any of that stuff. But small things like rabbits and chickens are no problem. You would be surprised how much meat you can get from rabbits! And it tastes great too
I hunt them right out back of my house. My property backs up to the Shawnee national Forest. They are so abundant here - I really don't see a need to raise them. Although I'm sure they would be a lot bigger if I raised my own. But the bottom line is shells are cheaper than feed :)
 

milkmansdaughter

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One "meat" option that's relatively easy, and is a great boost to the garden is raising fish. A 500 gal tank is big enough to put 50# or more of fish in your freezer (2 1/2# each) within 6-9 months. Then all the guts and water can be used to fertilize the garden. We're hoping to add tilapia this spring. We're planning fish for the summers, rabbits in the winter, chickens and eggs all year, with possibly one or two pigs next winter.
 
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