Buying half a pig...what size freezer do I need?
I'm planning on buying half a pig. Space is an issue. Is a 5 cu. ft freezer big enough?
back of the envelope minimum cubic feet you'd need--
Assume density of pig = density of water. 90 lb pig = 90 pints of water = 42 liters of water = 42000 cubic centimeters = 1.5 cubic feet (google is great for this stuff).
So if your pig was perfectly packable (and if the pig isn't lighter than water, which it might be with the fat), sure. However I don't think that a factor of 3 sounds like enough to make up for the fact that your pig is not perfectly packable in the freezer.
I think the smartest thing to do is call the people you are buying the pig from and ask them. All meat packers I know of who sell in this manner can tell you exactly what you need to know. Some local butchers/meat packers in my area also offer package deals where y ou buy half an animal or a whole animal AND a freezer and you make payments on the whole deal.
Assuming you're interesting in lowering your food costs overall, a freezer that will hold your half pig and then some is probably a much better idea than a freezer that will only hold the pig.
I put my half hog from beefconnections in a 4.5 cubic foot Danby from Costco. It was $180, or less, for the small chest model, same size as a bar fridge. It works effortlessly without much ice build up or freezer burn. The more modern uprights might be more prone to freezer burn because of constant temperature fluctuations.
The was lots of room left over for other things, but the large round packages (whole ham, shoulder roast) led to some wasted space.