Someone unplugged the freezer. I am sure it was inadvertently, like tripping over the cord and not realizing it was meant to be somewhere, or possibly not even paying enough attention to know there was a cord there. It is highly unlikely that it was a dog, but that possibility is not ruled out entirely.
Two weeks ago, or closer to just 10 days, I checked the freezer for available space. It was cold and working and only a quarter full. I did not put the bounty, which is brined smoked pork from the last of the piglets raised on the farm, in that freezer, but instead put it in the pink shed freezer, closer to my little farmhouse. That was a good thing. That was likely the day the freezer somehow became unplugged. And, for the days following, it has been hot, close to 30 degrees every day.
For some reason today, I thought I should just check the freezer. I had mowed the lawn, unplugged the cord and plugged it back in to the source carefully and I just wanted to be sure all was well.
When I opened the freezer, I nearly passed out from the stench of rotting meat. The dogs, chickens and geese, on the other hand, were greatly intrigued and came rushing over, in case it was for them. The piglets were slimy and hard to get a handle on. I removed the bagged rabbit meat and ground pork first, then the piglets. The big and small flies swarmed into the little side shack housing that freezer. I was entirely disgusted, but with only myself to rely on, the terrible task was to be done as quickly as possible.
I got a bucket and mopped up the bloody water at the bottom of the freezer. Then I washed it with hot soapy water and washed it again with a very strong bleach solution. It is clean and sparkling now, and I left it open to air out because the bleach was very powerful. I washed down the sides on the outside as well.
The meat was distributed amongst the dogs and birds and the piglets were taken to the compost to be buried when the rain stops. It has been pouring all day, except for this 2 hour sojourn when I had to do the nasty job. Thank goodness for that dry spell. I took the carcasses over to the compost in the wheelbarrow, but first put down 2 layers of cardboard. I double bagged the plastic bags so the flies could not get in and lay their eggs. If they do lay eggs on the piglet carcasses, the ducks and chickens will make short work of the maggots, and disgusting as it sounds, it is a very good source of protein for them. In the old days, a deceased animal was hung up just over the chicken pen so the maggots would dislodge and drop down to the chickens.
Anyhow, once completed, I wiped down the door handle with a bleach soaked cloth and then ran a bath and soaked away for a half hour. Still I couldn't get the stench off my hands. Initially, I did not wear rubber gloves when I removed the meat from the freezer and even after soaking, the smell was still on my hands, so I washed again with Dettol disinfectant, scrubbed my nails and cuticles with a stiff brush and the solution and then applied lavender and peppermint essential oils, both of which are good as disinfecting. I no longer can detect the dead meat smell, thank goodness, only Dettol and essential oils.
That was one of the most terrible tasks I have ever had to manage! I hope never in my life to have to do such again. I have cleaned up a lot of disgusting things in my time, but this was without a doubt the worst. And I am not happy about the monetary loss. 11 piglets were left from the 18 at 75 dollars a piglet, plus 20 pounds of ground pork from my own pigs, and about 20 organically raised rabbits. What a sad loss. Boo hoo.