Story: Farm buildings

Totara Estate killing shed

Totara Estate killing shed

The killing shed at Totara Estate in North Otago is the building on the left with three skylights. This is where the sheep were slaughtered for the first shipment of frozen meat to the United Kingdom in 1882. After killing, the carcasses were cooled in the meat house on the right (with one large and two small ventilators in the roof), then sent by train to Dunedin and loaded onto the Dunedin. The killing shed had a concrete floor which was said to be unusually smooth because it had been mixed with blood. A grating on the floor allowed the blood to drip into a gutter and into a trough for the pigs. Most New Zealand farms had killing sheds – but few were as historic or large as this.

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Photograph by Jock Phillips

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How to cite this page:

Robert Peden, 'Farm buildings - Modern buildings', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 May 2022)

Story by Robert Peden, published 24 Nov 2008