Cooling/Fridge/Cooler Question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jaku, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    So far, I'm doing 25 Cornish X at a time for myself. In the spring, I'm probably going to expand to 50-100, now that I'm getting the system figured out and some of my friends/coworkers want chicken meat. Here's my question- I need a good way to cool them for processing.

    My options are: a bunch of small coolers, which isn't very efficient, A large boat/marine cooler, which costs about $200 and probably still won't hold all the birds, buying an old fridge or two for the barn, (but I've heard it's not good to leave them sitting on shelves while cooling,) or "building" a cooler. I was thinking of getting some sheet foam and gluing it into a homemade plywood box, but I couldn't think of anything to use as a sanitary, reusable liner, especially for a big one.

    Any thoughts on "making" a cooler? How does everyone cool multiple birds??
     
  2. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    How about a polyethylene drum?
     
  3. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

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    Jaku, I worked on a chicken farm in Conover Wisc many years ago.. we butchered fryers twice per week..1000 each time.. they used galvanized wash tubs full of cold water..

    What I use here today are those big blue plastic bushel sized tubs from Fleet & Farm They are tough and thick.. mine are about 10 years old.. I have very cold well water, so we don't use ice..

    those tubs wash out pretty easily also..

    ...jiminwisc.........
     
  4. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    What a good idea. I was debating on how many chicks I should get because I didn't know how I would cool them all after butchering. Glad to hear this idea, maybe I can do more than I thought.
     
  5. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    That sounds like a good idea- I've used plastic containers before, but they don't keep the cold in, (the ones I've used weren't too thick, maybe what you're talking about would work better.) I want something that won't leave me having to change the water or add ice. You're talking about the big blue 55 gallon plastic barrels, right? Do you just cut the tops off? How did you keep them cold? And how do you get the chickens out of them? Bobbing for chickens, anyone??[​IMG]
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Yes, I was talking about the blue plastic drums. Ones that have contained food products and not chemicals. My father used to work at a large bakery and would bring them home. Our local feed store has used ones for sale that they buy from local plants. Some are open top, you loosen a band and the top can be removed. Other would need the tops cut out with a jigsaw.

    As somebody mentioned here, Farm and Fleet sells large polyethylene wash tubs. I've also seen these at Tractor Supply and the large home improvement stores.

    You don't need to insulate them. Although you may use a little more ice, the birds won't be in there for hours on end. You put them in the ice water until you have finished processing all your birds and then you start removing them from the ice water for packaging. They will be thoroughly chilled in a half hour to an hour.
     
  7. smith2

    smith2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    See if you can locate some plastic 55 gallon drums. They are usually blue or green.
     
  8. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

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    those 55 gal drums should work also.. just keep in mind that you might have to move the barrel of chickens.. a half full barrel is way more weight than I want to move even without the water.. 50 chickens X minimum of 3 pounds is 150 pounds.. even those bushel sized tubs full of chicken is more than I can easily left..

    to keep the water cool, just dump out as much as you can and refill the barrel.
     
  9. Cason

    Cason Chillin' With My Peeps

    A horse/cattle stock tank. I freeze milk jugs full of water ~ a week in advance to pitch in.
     

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