Right now, our house remodel is consuming much of our time. With that said, many of our farm/automation projects are on hold. Many, but not all. As any fellow homesteader knows, there are always small side projects to tackle, projects that cannot be ignored.
With the deer hunt over, one of those tasks was processing some venison.
Many people bring in there deer to a local processor or locker plant. Our local processor charges a flat fee of $70 to skin and quarter the deer. That does not include cuts and packaging. Worse yet, you never know if the meat you get back was yours or someone else’s (what were their animal handling practices). Did they give me all of my meat back? With that in mind, and also knowing that we will in general have at least one steer a year to process, I finally broke down and bought a meat grinder.
It arrived on Tuesday! Our small group also meets every Tuesday evening, but I couldn’t wait until Wednesday to process it, now could I? Not with that new grinder sitting there!
I had quartered the deer Monday evening after work. Come Tuesday evening, after we got the kids tucked in bed, Shelly and I took to the garage. We were able to piece out, grind up, and package the deer by 1AM. I have a loving and patient wife!
We ended up with close to 50lb of meat.
So, I had to run some quick math:
Grinder = $360USD ($75 of which I paid for with crypo through egifter.com) Deer License = $31USD Freezer Bags=$3USD $360+$31+$3=$394USD
With 50 pounds of meat, that comes out to $7.88/lb for fresh, grass fed, organic meat. Then, consider that the grinder will be used for all future deer and cattle we process here and the numbers start to look really nice! Eventually, all things equal, the cost/pound should start approaching $0.70/LB
And, to boot, I can bring the hide in to a local scrapyard and they will exchange the hide for a set of new work gloves or a small amount of cash. As a further bonus, the chickens and cats also enjoyed picking off the leftovers that we missed the following day.
Aside from processing venison, I also got an old window from our house moved to the south side of the barn. My hope is that it will help capture some solar heat in the barn on the upcoming cold winter days.
I measured up and marked out the wall. Then I used the reciprocating saw and cut myself a BIG hole!
Once cut out, I installed the outside frame and header. The goats were good sports through the commotion. Our bucky-buck however, made some tasks a challenge, as he had to smell, taste, and rub his head against everything new and out of place. Including my ladder. Easy fix? Toss a hay bale outside.
Finally, I framed up the wall below the window. Much better! In a year or two we hope to gut this room out and get it spray-foamed. At least this is a good start in the right direction!
Not only do we get to capture some natural heat now, but also some natural light! There is nothing like a well lit barn!
Next outdoor project… Firewood collection.