chillers/cold room


Well-Known Member
Hi tsd members,
Could anyone give me some advice on chilling my deer i seem to be getting more nowadays :D and i think it is time to step up a level currently they are hung overnight then taken to a dealer which involves a round trip of 40 miles. Not that this the problem but time is.
I have a double garage which i could either build a small room to one side and insulate then purchase a chiller unit. Or i have been looking at soft drinks fridges which would be ok for a short period(this seems the easiest option). i would only need something which would take two red at most because this would save me alot of running around.
How easy is it to build your own room as from what i can see they are just a sealed unit with a chiller on the side are there any pitfals to watch out for? I have seen stainless chillers advertised on ebay for £1700 :eek: which seem ok but rather pricey, the wife might not go for one of those.

I currently use a full height fridge with all the shelves taken out. It's okay for a couple of roe and muntjac but would probably only take one fallow at best. My stalking mate who manages the deer professionally has one of the soft drinks chillers, which is fine and just what I'm after to replace my fridge. This has taken a couple of fallow so would probably be okay for red as well.

He also has a standalone refrigerated container - the type you see on the back of lorries, but probably only a twenty foot unit. This is the dogs whatsits and would take pretty much the annual cull in one go! However, the down side is that (a) it takes up a lot of space in his yard, (b) it needs to be professionally re-charged, and (c) it really need to be left on all the time whereas the drinks chillers can be powered off if you don't have any deer to store. That said, it's great for keeping the wine and beer cold!

I also looked on eBay for a chilled larder from a butchers shop being dimantled/re-furbished. They come up pretty frequently so long as you are willing to travel, but I didn't have the space to re-erect it unless I donated the entire garage to it :eek:



Account Suspended
lardering facility

if you have the room and wherewithall to build a larder i strongly suggest you do. build one with a winch system. so you can back your truck up to the door, put a gambrel on the animal (speak to 300wsm for gambrels etc) winch the animal up and move it around the larder on pulleys and cables. you also can make up a skinning machine, using your winch

if you are culling a lot of deer it would be well worth the investment. i have a home made set of "gallows" with a winch on, i can back my truck to them, they are excellant

i will take a couple of pictures of them and post them

Hi -

I obtained a used double door Foster chiller from a refrigeration business up the road in Gloucester. The guy even offered to put a bar in it for me to hang deer from and deliver it too - £200 inc bar and delivery. Now running in my garage. Very happy to recommend the guy - Yan at Also spotted a stainless steel table whilst I was there - perfect for a little venison butchery.

Hope that helps.


Pete E

Well-Known Member
Like Willie_Gunn, I currently use a large single door fridge and it will take a couple of roe or a fallow pricket or doe. A friend however has a standard double drinks chiller and while I’ve seen that holding four fallow, it was literally at bursting point trying to cope with this..

IIRC the internal measurements of most double door units are around 60” tall, by about 40” wide, and either 18” or 24” deep front to back, with the 18” seemingly more common. Personally, I don’t think such a cabinet would be big enough to hang a Red, other than perhaps a calf.

Additionally, not only will it be physically too small, but I suspect it will constantly struggle to pull down a warm carcass to the required temp, with the moisture the carcass gives off potentially causing the unit to freeze up solid.

All in all, I think you’d be better off going for a chilled room and paying attention on how you intend to lift and handle the carcass was mentioned by Swampy.


Well-Known Member

Just a little tip, I used the chiller units from a couple of chiller units in my own build chiller. I had to box of the chiller unit and use a fan to get rid of the heat generated by the unt. Either install the chiller motor etc outside the chiller or you will have to get rid of the heat generated by the unit. Perhap you've thought of this already, I on the other had did not. Good luck.


Well-Known Member
Hi many thanks thanks to all for advice and comments i shall continue to look further into it and have set myself next spring as a target date to be sorted by. This will make sure i have somthing for the summer and next autumn and i will have some time to think about exactly what i want. fools rush in and all that, from the replies it looks like soft drink fridges are quite common. but if i build my own then as swampy suggests i can build in rails use hoists etc to make life easier. i will let you all know in the future many thanks again.
Hi Cervushunter
I have just built a new fridge after loosing my old one in the floods. I made it out of second hand sections from memory they are roughly 6ft and cost £10 each.
I made my own hanging /roller/winch system using a trailer winch and workshop door rollers and channel mounted on a free standing frame.(not as nice as the proper ones but a fraction of the cost)
The unit I got of the Internet
It probably worked out nearly as expensive as one of the little fridges advertised but I don't know if you would get many 300lb Boar in some of them :D ;)
Ps the units it the link are corner units most would use the straddle type which are fractionally cheaper.


Pete E

Well-Known Member
cervushunter said:
from the replies it looks like soft drink fridges are quite common.

Before you spend your money on one of these, while they may be common, I think thats because they are used for people stalking the smaller species of deer...Large fallow bucks are a very tight squeeze in one these and I just can't see you getting two sizable red carcasses in one; you generally just don't have the internal height or depth in the more commonly available drinks cabinets.

Take a look at the dimensions of units in the links below, and see what they recommend the units can hold:


Where did you get the panels from for your unit? Are they the plastic coated insulated panels? Also, what have you done for a door?

Your right about the weight carrying ability of the smaller fridges especially the drinks chillers. With the later you really need to rig either an internal or external frame to take the weight if you want to hold anything substantial. I have a friend who's not bothered with the frame and just hung his fallow carcasses from an existing shelf inside the drinks chiller...The whole cabinet now looks a bit rickety and it doesn't help with all the knocks it takes as you struggle to lift a buck up inside the cabinet while working at arms length from outside it...

Coolgame sell the telescopic loading bar in the pics below to over come the problem:

It would be very easy to rig up something similar using a removable bar. In fact all that would be needed is somewhere strong to suspend the "free end" of the bar from, and hopefully a winching point a couple of feet higher than the centre of the bar for lifting the heavier carcasses.

All this would hardly be required for lifting Roe, but for Fallow it would be very useful, and for Red essential I'd think...



Andy L

Well-Known Member
I am going over to a farm tomorrow and I am sure he has a load of cold store panels that I can probably get for very little money. They looked about 7ft by 3ft. If anyone wants me to find out about them, let me know and I will see what I can do.
Pete E said

Where did you get the panels from for your unit? Are they the plastic coated insulated panels? Also, what have you done for a door?
Hi Pete
They are all ex supermarket sectional panel (plastic Coated) Some are a bit tatty but nothing a good clean wont sort.
I've used the panels to make a false wall in a fridge lorry back. They also sell new stuff so I got some 40mm coated angle, pop riveted it to the panel and to the wall, floor and roof of the lorry back, a bit of silicone one false wall half way across the width of the container.
For the door i used another panel and purchased some 40x75x50 plastic coated channel. I then pop riveted the channel to the floor and roof and used it as a slider for the door (like a sliding wardrobe door).
Its not perfect you have to lift a bit as you slide it but it cost about £50 for the 2 panels, channel, angle and edging strip so cheap enough.
If you were in and out of it twenty times a day it wouldn't be any good but its does the job.
The front half the container I kitted out for skinning and butchering with sink and fold up stainless table. I'll try and remember to take a photo.
I mounted the unit on the back of the container and used more panels to make a weatherproof shelter. Pm me if you want any more details or contacts.

A couple of photo's of the sliding doors and winch/hang rail.

The winch cable runs around a couple of rollers to the centre of the rail where i use a shallow gambrel and then it can be lowered onto the lower gambrels on the rollers.
(dont take the p**s out of the door handles they were all I could find at the time :D )



Pete E

Well-Known Member

Thanks for that; I'm always interested to see stalking related DIY stuff...

So how big is the chiller part and what species of deer do you mostly handle? If you were doing this again, is there anything you'd like to change or do differently?



Hi Pete,

Internal is 2m(high) x 2m(Wide) x 1.5 (deep)
I've only made it 1.5 deep to help with the economy and leave plenty of working room in the front and where I've got a sink and table.

I can hang about 6 Fallow with loads of space between them.
The chiller unit I ordered is big enough to run the whole box if I need to so I've got lots of room if i ever need it. (next job is to put a skinning/hanging rail in the front)

I've had Muntjac, Roe, Fallow and WildBoar hanging in it so far.

If I was starting from scratch I would have built it an existing building to save weather proofing the unit but I had the box so I used it.