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Guns and Yoga
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So BnB and I bought our first cow, which he aptly named "Freezer", which is being fed out and will be downed in a few months.

Freezer and pals are hanging out at BnB's cousins farm,and we will be downing a steer ("T-Bone") the end of January and a cow about every 3-4 wks after that (all this is determined by his cousin's family).

I was thinking they had a front end loader/tractor/heavy equipment rig ready to go, but turns out they do not. They do have an atv, but as far as hanging, i'm a bit concerned. The barn which they are planning on hanging/aging the beef does NOT have adequate joists to support the point load of a whole beef.

I've been trying to research hanging rigs on the internet, but it has been either commercial line rigs or tripod braces for smaller cows in Egypt and Asia.

Apparently they used to down their under-producing Holstein's (they had a dairy) but that was at their old farm and have not downed and processed beef at their new place.

The first steer is not mine, but I am jumping in with both feet to learn as much as I can for my cow, but I still don't want to see a mad scramble or compromised solution that may contaminate the meat or damage structures.

The question whether to reinforce the structural framing of the barn or create a portable rig is still up in the air. And I'm not sure if this will be a one-off thing for us at their place or if we will be doing this every year till our place is up and running, adding to the investment question.

Any experience, ideas, suggestions and the like would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Anvils and Welders
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Keep in mind that hanging weight for a beef is 55-60% of weight on the hoof.
1000# beef =550-600# of beef hanging. This you will halve down the middle. If you use different rafters to hang from, you will have 275-300# hanging in each spot. You could go further and halve each half, thus reducing the weight by quarters.

When you finish processing you will wind up with about 37% yield out of the beef.
1000# on the hoof = 370 of beef in the freezer.
This is due to deboning and offal weight.

We always use a locker plant because they are set up for it and it is cleaner. Im scheduled to take a beef and two goats in next week.

If you have anymore questions let me know.

Good luck,
Tex
 

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I have an XD9000i (I upgraded the cable from 3/8 to 7/16) I welded the winch plate to some 3/8 tube stock. I made it so I can slide it into my trucks receiver hitch.

You can easily weld up an A frame to hoist it over.
 

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Look around the farm in the scrap pile. Any electric poles? That would probably be the easiest.
With some 2" pipe and a welder, you should be able to come up with a A-frame.
I don't know what the building is like, but if joists were installed the length of the building on the trusses, it should distribute the weight to less than what the weight of some snow on the roof would be.
Any old implements that are headed for scrap laying around.
You should be able to come up with something.
 

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Guns and Yoga
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys for all the input! This is one heck of a learning experience since I have zero experience with livestock.
I was thinking of welding up a cherry picker with some heavy angle iron I have, but was saving it for another project. I guess i was thinking we had to hang the dressed carcass as a whole for two weeks, and I'm not sure that barn/shed framing can handle it, but splitting it up would definitely spread the point load. If there were more trees around the place i'd rig up a stand not unlike for dressing game, but what little trees they have are in the orchard.

I haven't seen much in the line of "treasures" piled up around the farm, but when I go back next week I'll go on a hunt.

Thanks again for all the advice! :)
 

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something to consider .... any other possible usage, in the future, for a well supported winch/pulley set up? ..... pulling an engine? .... cargo unloading? ect ect
 

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Get some 4x4's and some 2x12's. Fortify a joist with 2x12's on either side and fill in the gap with whatever you need (like another 2x6) Then on either end set 4x4 posts for support. I would use a Simpson Tie bracket to attach the 4x4 to the new beam with 1 or 2 screws. This way when you are done you can take the post back down for room.

Throw a short chain around the beam to attach to. Go and buy an inexpensive chain hoist from Harbor Freight. You can get one for under a $100. You can build a spreader bar out of some heavy rebar if you have that laying around. Make sure that your spreader bar is braced well and designed right.
 

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My Temperature is Right
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A $15 come-a-long will work well too. I put an eye bolt through the wall of the garage and hang stuff in the garage door. Also use it to raise and lower my folding trailer. Just make sure you use a 2X4s and metal backing plate to spread the load so the bolt don't pull through the wall.
 
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