I’ll have an electric hoist, and a hanging rail, that will hold up to 4 deer. The bench/workstation area is in flux right now. Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks in advance.
I would think "butherboy" would be a good one to chime in on this.
I'm not sure if that type of table is still available today though? Seems like everything I see these days has a complete poly top. Wish I had room in the garage for such a table. As it is, I just use a three foot section of that 12" poly board on my work bench....or wherever I'm processing. Have poly board - Will travel!
...and a beer fridge. ;-)
Yes, I did put a floor drain in, and I will also have a sink with hot and cold water available, but the sink won’t be located in the immediate work station area. I will most likely, run a water line overhead from the source, over to the work area, (approximately 30’ away) instead of having to string a hose out for cleanup. I also plan on being able to switch from hot to cold on that line through a manifold. I’ll definitely have a fridge as well. Might steal Ziek’s hanging bar idea from the other thread, for the fridge as well. Good lighting is definitely a priority, too. I’ve got a couple of 24”x36”X2” poly cutting boards that work great. I’ll have to keep an eye out for a stainless steel top. Not a bad idea about the hole in the table for scraps, either.
I’ll have to decline on the coffee/cordial drink holders, though. It keeps your mind sharp trying remember where you set your beer down (or if this one is your’s or your buddy’s)! Nick....I’ve got plenty of parking available, plus I’m putting in a window facing the driveway, so we can see who’s coming. Hopefully we can keep the riffraff to a minimum that way.
I’ve already got the exercise floor mats.
If only doing deer then keep the rail height about 8-9 feet. Anything bigger will be fine as quarters. If you skin and hang the animal outside then your hoist needs to be set up in a way to transfer to your hanging rail. Build a small cooler in the shop with the rail running right into it. You don’t want to use the hoist on the same rail that runs into your cooler unless you use a second hoist inside separate from the rail. That hoist moves back and forth towards the rail and should be about 3 feet higher. This hoist can also be stationary but it needs to be close to the rail so you can swing the carcass over and above the rail then lower it down. It’s a good way to get the carcass off the rail too. With the right height, you can pull quarters off the carcass while it’s hanging, remove backstrap, tenderloin, then the rib cage. Only thing to lift off would be the hind quarters.
Don’t really need a table with a hole in it for waste. Just losing table use. Put a 55 gallon barrel with a contractor bag inside next to you and just throw the waste in there. Put a bungee cord around the rim or the weight of the waste will pull your bag right into the barrel.
Get a double or 3 compartment sink for washing knives, totes, grinder parts, etc.
Look for auctions for used meat processing tables with poly tops and stainless steel tables. Make sure and have good knives, sharpening stones, and steels. Boning hook and get a knife scabbard. It’s easy to have an accident with knives laying on the table.
Sorry this is long. I could go on for a while but I think this will give you a pretty good idea. It’s a lot but not difficult to set up and you will have a nice shop!
We have a refrigerator, stove, double sink, and a deep sink
My sons are contractors and did a lot of work inside a processing plant where we were able to buy their old stainless tables with poly tops. We took one section of poly out and put maple boards in it to mount the stuffer. The processing plant also sold us stainless portable sinks (6' long) that are useful for grinding into and mixing sausage.
By hinging tables to the wall we gained a lot of space when they fold out of the way. We also put a stainless steel table top on kitchen cabinets on a rolling frame, provides a lot of portable storage and workspace for vacuum packing meat.
I told my sons the shed is paid for in what we saved in processing since 2006. Last year we did 24 deer, 5 elk, and 3 hogs. That's our usual numbers except for the elk, it's usually just 1 or 2 (if we're lucky).
Future plans include building a block smokehouse outside the shed.
The only thing I would do differently is either have double doors for the outside door with the rail extending outside. Or, a sliding door on tracks for the door to slide open on the outside with the rail extending out. Another option most don’t think about is adding a switch or two here and there on the rail. This would allow having multiple rails going different directions. One rail coming in with a switch to turn it into the cooler. Comes out of the cooler and flip the switch to go onto another rail that could run straight by a cutting table. Could also add multiple rails and switches in the cooler if you really wanted to be fancy. Lol
An additional upgrade is a power stuffer. Everyone is wore out after cranking for several hours.
Most of our deer are taken from the property where the shed is located. We usually don't field dress the deer, we haul it in with quad & trailer or with the tractor bucket. The guts can be dropped into a tub while the deer is on the rail, it's a whole lot cleaner, and we can be at the shed within minutes so we don't think quality suffers.
I added a trench drain to the cooler, much better than the 6" circle drain.
Also the walls behind the hanging tables and inside the cooler are covered with FRP. Makes cleanup easy.
The invite to come hunt whitetails on your land is enough. You don’t need to build a butcher shop for me. :)
Another suggestion would be to to skin the back legs down to below the tendon, break the legs off and then hang it on the gambrel. Skin it all the way down then eviscerate after the hide is off. Makes skinning the belly and flank a little easier if done before opening the belly. That’s just how we do domestic animals and it keeps everything cleaner.
You definitely have a nice processing shop and an electric stuffer is the way to go. Next you will be wanting a bigger grinder! Lol if you did get one I would recommend a mixer/grinder. My stuffer only holds 40 lbs and we do about 400-1,000 lbs in a day. We are looking at getting a vacuum stuffer that will hold 150-200 lbs at a time.
Thanks guys! Lots of great ideas, so far. Keep em coming!
I think the best part of getting this shop built was my wife's happiness in getting it out of the garage and basement kitchen where we did all the cleanup.
We have a few ideas to speed things up next year.
Be certain you install a check valve in each line, or you will have unwanted mixing problems upstream.
On a Saturday morning in April, I was fishing in our pond with 4 grandsons when I got a phone call from an acquaintance of ours. His son in law is raising bison, and had an issue with two young bulls that escaped, and would not go back in with the others. Seven bison escaped, but these young bulls would not be herded back or be lured with feed. He even had three horsemen spend 2 1/2 hours trying to round them up, but they could not get them closer than 1/2 mile from the pen.
After 2 weeks of roaming up to 10 miles each way from his farm, the sheriff, state police, and county animal control said that's it, you have to kill them if you cant catch them. His plan was to shoot them and bury them with the backhoe, since the carcasses cannot be taken to a locker plant, they have to be killed on site to be processed in the plant. He was facing a several thousand dollar loss.
He was talking to his father in law about his dilemma, who said he thought we had a cooler and could maybe help him out. The son in law lives about 60 miles away, I had never met him before. When the son in law then called me I said we had never done something like that, but would be willing to help him out, go ahead and kill them and bring them to us.
He sent a few pics before hitting the road.
We started skinning the legs out on the trailer, and then raised them with the skid steer as needed until down to the skull.
Trevor held on to Tyler's belt so he didn't fall into the carcass as he cut the brisket.
After doing the bison, my sons think we should kill our own beef, so we bought a couple saws (band saw and splitting saw) and are ramping up for late next fall when the calves are finished.
Trevor is channeling his Lt Dunbar from Dances with Wolves.
Just some suggestions to help you out. Always be thinking of better ways to make your system work the best. You will know what works best for you. Be careful going down the rabbit hole or you will end up starting a small commercial shop just to pay for your equipment you buy. LOL! Thats how we started back in the late 80's and then started the business in 91 doing wild game and a few farm kill for people. We now have a 6,000 sq ft commercial plant and expanding to 10,000 sq ft soon. Good job and keep expanding and adding new things. If you have any questions or ideas I will be more than happy to help out. Good Luck!
Did you guys have to high power them from a good distance, in order to put them down?
Glad you brought this thread back up, Rock. A little update on my progress…or lack thereof. The shell is basically finished, other than a few trim pieces to do. Everything should have been done by mid November. The guy that was supposed to do the building, totally dropped the ball and would never show up, so a good friend and I did basically 99% of it ourselves last winter. My other buddy will be here tomorrow, and we will get all of the wiring run this week, and the walls should get spray foamed in a few weeks. Hopefully, OSB prices will come down some by late summer as well. I’ve got all of the bracing for the hanging rail and hoist in place. All that I will need to do is drill the holes through the ceiling steel for the allthread, that the rails and hoist will be mounted with.
Butcherboy……that’s how it happens with food plotting, too!
Also, you mentioned osb? Are you putting that on the inside? If so, make sure to cover it with some kind of washable surface and put in a washable hanging tile ceiling. Looks like it’s going to be a nice shop for you!
I agree about the hide/hair on the bison.................it was a challenge keeping a sharp blade during the skinning.
I also agree about using a skinning cradle, especially when we do a steer. I skinned them on the ground before, using concrete blocks to hold it in place, that really doesn't work very well.
For hogs, we want to get set up to scald/scrape so we can make our own liverwurst, using all the parts of the hog like my grandfathers did. Nothing goes with a breakfast of hash browns and over easy eggs like homemade liverwurst!
As Shiloh said, FRP over the OSB is a must, cleanup is a breeze.
No way we will start a commercial operation, even though we could be booked completely full starting the first week the doors would be opened. Slaughter dates are still a year out for the few processors that are around here. I'm way too old to think of starting a venture like that. :)
I almost went the route of scalding hogs a few years ago but found out that I would need a few pieces of equipment to skin the rind off the bacon, hams, loins, shoulders when processing. It would speed me quite a bit on the slaughter side but slow me down on the processing. I was going to buy a scalder and dehairing tank. We can skin pretty fast so we just stick with that. Scalding a few hogs a year for yourself wouldn’t be bad at all. We are booked solid right now through January and coming into fair season. There’s going to be a lot of upset people that didn’t book an appointment.
We also quite processing wild game last year so I’m happy about that!
Good to hear that you still have plenty of work, even without having to do wild game, which sounds like is a blessing for you! Long wait times to get beef/hogs/sheep/etc processed here, as well.