Friday, 30 August 2013

Freezer sizing

As I prepare to send the pigs to slaughter, one important issue is how big a freezer to buy.

My estimate of my pigs' live weight, using a well known estimating technique, is about 90 Kg each. Boned out dead weight is likely to be about 66% of that, so say 120 Kg. Of course I shan't keep all that, I'll sell some and give some away; and I shan't freeze all I keep. But given that I won't know how much I'll sell until I sell it, I need to reckon on being able to store 100 Kg of frozen meat.

Flesh just about floats in water; it's within 10% the same density. So a kilogram of meat is about a litre of meat, give or take not very much. But, the packing density will not be perfect; there will inevitably be gaps. Let's say between fudge factors and packing density, I'll need to have space for at least 120 litres.

This year.

Aye, there's the rub. Steerpike - my one steer calf - comes ready for slaughter in the winter of 2014-2015, which is to say just over a year's time. As a 'non-short' Dexter, he's likely by then to have a live weight of at least 250Kg and a boned-out weight of at least 150Kg. Assuming the freezer is empty, I'll need at least 150 litres for him.

So I think I'm looking for a 200 litre freezer.
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