Thursday, 16 October 2014

Farewell Freezer 2 (Finally)

After more than 3 months of waiting today we finally said farewell to Freezer 2. I am not going to go into all the details but in the end we were not able to have her killed at home due to the unprofessional unreliable home butcher.  
This for us was really disappointing as we wanted to have her under as little stress as possible right up until the end.

In the end we sent her off to a family owned abattoir and her carcass will then go to a local family run butcher who will do the processing.

Today I had the job of moving her from our place through the neighbors paddock to their stock yards and loading ramp.
Hubby was at work and I was a bit worried that she would play up or get freaked out at being lured into the yards and then run away leaving me chasing her around the paddock and us both ending up stressed. 
But I needn't have worried.
With a wheelbarrow full of cut grass positioned just inside the pen and some broccoli plants, that refused to do anything other than grow leaves, tucked under my arm Freezer 2 calmly followed me from our place through the neighbours paddock and into the yards.  I then left her there for a few hours with the wheelbarrow of grass and a trough of water.

When the truck finally arrive to pick her up the driver took one look at her and said " Gee she's fat" he then asked me if I wanted a hand to load her.  I said that I would try and get her on myself since she knew me.  I calmly got her into the loading chute and then she just stood there like a stubborn old mule.  I got her moving forward towards the ramp after a bit of pushing and then she got stuck in the gateway between the chute and the ramp.

Yep her great big fat stomach was keeping her from moving easily up the ramp.  So I whacked her on the rump with my hand to try and get her moving but she was just standing there like a stubborn mule again.  I got the cattle truck driver to come and have a look to see if she really was too fat and he told me that she would fit even though it was a bit of a squeeze.  So I went around to her side and got her to move back a few steps and then got her moving forward again this time keeping her moving all the way up the ramp and onto the truck. Whew job done.

I have to say there were a few moments there where I really did think that we were cursed and that this would just be another failed attempt to have her killed.

Once she is killer her carcass will be sent back to the butcher where she will be hung for up to 2 weeks.  The butcher will then cut her up as per our specifications, pack, cryovac and freeze all the portions for us.  
The big benefit of this is that it will last well without getting freezer burn and can go into our freezer and be left there as it is packed.  With home kill meat it would get packed by us and stacked in the freezer unfrozen so we have to keep rotating it while it freezes so it all freezes evenly.

So now we just have to wait and see how much she weighs in at as a carcass. We are guessing at over 300kg but will wait and see.

I will post an update of how we get the meat portioned up and how we deal with such a large quantity in another post.

For now I am just glad this stage is over.


  1. Woo hoo! Nice work Fee. Isn't it great to have tame cattle that will follow you anywhere. We usually put hay on the truck and they just wander up the ramp to get it, but a few have needed a push from behind :)

    1. Yes Liz tame cattle are so much easier to deal with and the guy driving the cattle truck was pretty surprised that I was happy to get so close to her.

  2. We have purchased a quarter of a beast just recently, it was one of the best things I've ever done, it worked out to cost just under $10 a kilo across the board from cheap to expensive cuts, and so handy having it waiting in the freezer! What an extra bonus to have your own cow, who has lived a happy and content life, well done.

    1. Yes Cheryl it is much cheaper but it does mean you eat a lot of beef instead of other types of meat. She has had a great life (so great she was nearly too fat to fit on the truck) and we appreciate her sacrifice.

  3. That looks like a big job and hopefully you'll have delicious meat for the year ahead. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    1. Kathy we will probably have meat for the next 2 years but since it is cryovaced it will last. We will also be looking to sell some to family and friends.

  4. I just called my Mum and asked her who taught her to butcher our meat. Apparently, no one and yet it was a frequent thing to come home from school and find a carcass of lamb, cow or pig on the long heavy kitchen table with Mum swinging a cleaver. She said she watched her Dad do it when she was young. She said "you all survived didn't you? Yep, i didn't know any different. Didn't every mother do this? I especially like turning the mincer handle and watching all the wringly strings of meat fall out. We use to take it in turns (six kids) to get the shanks, our favorite.

    1. It is a good skill to have and one day I would like to learn more about breaking down a whole animal.


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