# Crazy Question on Maximum, Chickens Per Freezer Capacity

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by 3KillerBs, Oct 13, 2009.

1. ### 3KillerBsSongster

591
33
181
Jul 10, 2009
North Carolina Sandhills
I have a slightly crazy question related to my chicken science fiction thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=255023 ...

How many birds would you get into a 14-16 cuft freezer?

I'm think that's a good size for my standard cold-sleep module, being big enough for a person, a couple goats, a couple sheep, etc. (there could be a larger one for cattle and horses).

My thought is that since the chickens lose about 25-30% live vs processed weight I could, with careful stacking, get about 75% of that number of live birds into a module.

Edit for clarity -- The birds have to be whole, not cut up, deboned, or otherwise processed. They are not the colonists' food, they are their breeding stock.

If I know how many whole fryers/roaster can go into your freezer of a given size I can make the correction for the extra space taken up by necks, heads, feet, etc.

Last edited: Oct 14, 2009

Jul 16, 2008
South TX on the border
maybe 4 per cubic foot?

3. ### bigredfeatherSongster

2,194
35
211
Oct 1, 2008
Yorkshire, Ohio
Cutting them in half will likely increase the number you can fit in any given space.

4. ### 3KillerBsSongster

591
33
181
Jul 10, 2009
North Carolina Sandhills
Quote:The problem then for story purposes would be sewing them back to resurrect them from the cold sleep.

As the linked thread explained, I'm trying to figure out how many chickens space colonists could/should take with them to establish poultry flocks.

I figured that the people on the meat bird forum would know how many dead ones fit in a freezer (and could check the cubic feet if necessary), and I could use that number to extrapolate how many live ones would fit into a cold-sleep module.

Chickens being one of the thriftiest, hardiest, most adaptable, and fastest maturing of our domestic animals I'm sure that space colonists would bring them along.

5. ### BossrooSongster

1,450
23
171
Jun 15, 2008
A couple of weeks ago I had to butcher my 22 cornish X on short notice. I had very limited freezer space like 16in. x 16in. x 12in.. I deboned the breasts, cut up the thighs and legs, then boiled the meat off the wings , back and the rest off the carcass for stews, etc. then packaged them in plastic baggies in serving size packages. I sqeeze fit in a total of 16 -- processed weight of average 5.055 pound Cornish X into that freezer space.

6. ### 3KillerBsSongster

591
33
181
Jul 10, 2009
North Carolina Sandhills
Its got to be whole birds.

They're alive, just in cold sleep waiting to be resurrected on a new planet.

7. ### Wolf-KimSongster

3,832
26
221
Jan 25, 2008
Quote:Go ahead and explain in your original post in a more detailed manner, that this post is based off the freezing of live birds.

Honestly, you probably won't find much help on the meat bird board, because everyone here puts dead birds in the freezer and the space required for a whole bird would be different.

8. ### brandywineSongster

Jul 9, 2008
Western PA
Why wouldn't the colonists freeze chicks? Embryos?

9. ### 3KillerBsSongster

591
33
181
Jul 10, 2009
North Carolina Sandhills
To clarify and expand on my original post,

I thought that if you people who have experience with butchering and freezing a number of birds could tell me how many whole chickens you can put into a freezer of between 14 and 16 cuft I can use that number to figure out how many unbutchered birds can go into the same space given the figures about losing 25-30% of the live weight in processing.

These birds are not the colonists' food. They are their breeding stock.

I posted the question on this board because I thought that people who commonly processed 25, 50, or 100 birds at a time would know how much space they took up in the freezer.

The thread I linked in the original post has a lot of details about why they're bringing adult birds, which I didn't repeat because I thought it would bore you if I went on and on.

I picked that size for the cold-sleep modules because its both a common size for freezers and large enough to hold a human being and because its about the maximum size/weight that two men and with a dolly can readily move from place to place.

Thanks for the help.

10. ### 3KillerBsSongster

591
33
181
Jul 10, 2009
North Carolina Sandhills
Quote:The short version is that they're taking their livestock in as many redundant ways as possible to reduce the chance of losing everything in a disaster and to ensure maximum genetic diversity.