estimating necessary freezer space

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by brandywine, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. brandywine

    brandywine Songster

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    Anyone got a good estimate of how much freezer space we will need to store whole birds, which I expect to dress out to an average of 4-5 pounds?

    IOW, number of birds per cubic foot of freezer space?

    I've got 90+ rangers who have a date with the processor on the 8th. I'm buying another used chest freezer and "eating down" the food in our current freezers, but getting nervous about storage.
     
  2. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

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    I don't know about the estimated freezer space for whole birds. Don't worry too much about it. Because if it seems you won't have enough space, just half or quarter the birds. It will give you more space, whether it will give enough space, I'm not sure.

    -Kim
     
  3. minifarmer

    minifarmer In the Brooder

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    I would say .75 per bird. Mine were around 8# each and took about 1 sq ft apiece. That was making them as compact as I could, while leaving them whole. So, you're looking at (at least) 67 1/2 cubic feet, and probably more. Plus, you can only put so many in at a time so they freeze quickly. I have 3 freezers and 2 refrigerators and was jockying stuff around for 3 days with 56 birds...good luck! Maybe you can 'borrow' parts of a few friends freezers for a day or two?? karla
     
  4. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Songster

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    A bit less than one bird per gallon, I would say, assuming they dress at around 5 lbs. And there are 7.5 gallons in a cubic foot.

    So, in a 9 cubic foot freezer (67 gal), you could probably store 50, maybe more.
     
  5. brandywine

    brandywine Songster

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    I've probably got 60 birds in the chest freezer I bought, plus some odds & ends like a bag of feet, and there's more room. The birds ended up being significantly bigger than I'd expected, too. The rest of the birds are in other freezers, went home with friends, eaten right away, etc.

    I'm going to get a count and figure out the cubic footage of that freezer for future use.

    Suffice it to say that my fears about enough space were exaggerated.

    What I do NOT recommend is dumping this much mass into a freezer all at once. I knew we would be lucky to get away with it. We did -- it took a couple days for the birds near the top to freeze, but because they were extremely fresh and well-chilled when they went in, that's okay. Not ideal, but okay.

    Technically you should rotate the birds from top to bottom for several days, but my back won't tolerate that at the moment.
     
  6. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Songster

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    I just bought a 9 cubic foot freezer. We fit 70 broilers into it, prolly 5.5 lbs average. That was a very tight fit. 71 would not have fit.

    Half of them, we only had in there until people came to pick up their chickens that night, or the next day. The rest froze solid within a couple days.

    So, I would say the magic number is to multiply the cubic feet by 7. That should allow for a little wiggle room. Alternately, figure the size in gallons (7.5 gallons in a cubic foot), and allow for one gallon per chicken. Of course, if your birds are bigger or smaller, the numbers will change accordingly.
     
  7. twentynine

    twentynine Songster

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    BW back years ago when I would slaughter a whole calf I paid a few pennies a pound to have it blast frozen at the slaughter house. Prior to that I would "farm out" pounds and pounds of beef to family and friends that had extra freezer space, just to get it frozen. Once frozen my freezer had capacity to hold it. Always donated a few packs of meat to the helpers.
     
  8. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

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    What we do is start by filling up extra soda bottles, juice jugs etc with water, and then freezing those the week before. When time comes to pack the freezer, unpack iced jugs, layer the chicks and jugs as needed, and you'll get better freezing as the iced jugs act as heat sinks. You can do the same idea with those 5lb bags of frozen peas & corn.
     

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