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nofishfisherman

Half a cow

26 posts in this topic

Has anyone here purchased a share of a cow (whole, half, quarter)?  If so what was the approximate final weight of the meat you brought home?

A buddy of mine purchased a half a cow from a family friends farm and paid for it to be butchered at a local meat market. We ended up splitting the half of cow into 5 equal shares so each person got 1/5th of the half.  Each share came out to 45-50 lbs, so roughly 250 lbs of packaged meat (roasts, steaks, ground).  The final weight was less than I was expecting so I asked my buddy about it and the receipt he has from the meat market lists a weight in the 340 lb range and judging by how it was written up seems like that should have been the final weight of meat.  

Neither of us are sure what the right number is.  250 lbs for half a cow seems a little light to me but I'm no bovine expert so I'd be interested to hear your guestimates. 

He's supposed to be calling the market today to ask them about it.  Maybe its as simple as them missing a box of our order in the freezer when my buddy picked it up.

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I haven't heard what the live weight was.  All I saw was the receipt from the meat market listing what looked like a finished weight of 340ish lbs.  The receipt was pretty sparse with a lot of spots left blank.

Perhaps 250 is right and I'm overestimating the size of a cow but we're confused at the 340 number on the receipt and the 250 we actually received.  Is 340 lbs of boxed meat even a reasonable number for a half cow?

 

 

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I have bought many 1/4 and 1/2 beef. I believe you pay X amount per pound hanging weight. and by that I believe is once its killed ets. could be wrong.

 

a half is the way to go you get good cuts. if you want more burger get a front 1/4. more steaks get the back 1/4. the haf you get both and a medium range price. the front is cheaper the back more spendy.

reiny believes your best deals or prices is to buy it on store sales. when buying in 1/4 or 1/2 your paying for bone and waste!

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Everything I've seen is by hanging weight and then I think they expect box/finished weight to be roughly 60% of hanging weight. So 1000 lb hanging weight would expect to yield 600 lbs or 300/half.  Again I'm no bovine expert, I've been leaving this up to my buddy to deal with but the weight seemed low to both of us.

Based on the weight we got and the price we paid the meat came out to $4.90ish/pound which is for the ground, t-bones, ribeyes, roasts, and my favorite cut the tongue.:)

Edited by nofishfisherman

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you have to remember the bones and trim that is discarded and 60% is fairly close for a yield.

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its generally price on hngi g weigjht. its not a bbad price for freshh farm bbeef. in my opinion..yuum.canibel bburger!!

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We haven't bought a half in a few years, but when we did live weight was usually between 800 to 900 lbs., hanging weight 600 to 675lbs. for the whole animal, and ending with between 250 and 275lbs of cut meat for a half.

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Ok so maybe the weight we received isn't out of line.  Still not sure what the numbers of the receipt refer to then since the 340 number is written in a spot that indicates finished boxed weight.  Perhaps a sloppy job of writing up the receipt?

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Depending on breed, dressed weight of finished feedlot cattle will typically run 62% to 68% of live weight; holsteins on the lower end, beef higher.  If you actually purchased a "cow", yields are far less.  From that hanging weight, your take home will be determined by the cuts you order.  If you grind everything into burger, the final yield will be much lower than cut/wrap/freeze all the bone-in cuts.  Remember the heart, liver, and tongue can add 25 lbs to the hanging total.  This week I quoted my customers at $1.92/lb hanging for angus and $1.88/lb hanging for holsteins, and $200/hd on butcher hogs delivered to their choice of processor. 

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12 hours ago, nofishfisherman said:

Ok so maybe the weight we received isn't out of line.  Still not sure what the numbers of the receipt refer to then since the 340 number is written in a spot that indicates finished boxed weight.  Perhaps a sloppy job of writing up the receipt?

Go ask the butcher shop how that slip is supposed to read. I would  if I had doubts!

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My buddy who has been handling all of this was going to call and ask them.  I haven't talked to him in a day or two so I'm not sure if he's called yet.

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All I can say is that "It's more than you think." :)  I'm cleaning our deep freeze tonight for a quarter beef that's comoing on Sat... Haven't got one in a while but evey time we do I'm amazed how much meat comes off a 1/4 of a beef steer. My deep freeze is a little smaller but we've wresteled 1/4 beefs into it.  I couldn't imagine a half.  Good luck!  nothing like good farm-raised beef.

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yeah nothing better than farm raised beef, have a canible burger TL, little salt pepper and your solid!

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And served with a fresh egg yolk and accompaniments...and a dash of tabasco and worcestershire. :P

Steak-Tartare.jpg

 

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23 minutes ago, RebelSS said:

And served with a fresh egg yolk and accompaniments...and a dash of tabasco and worcestershire. :P

Steak-Tartare.jpg

 

That's my favorite way to do venison. 

Maybe a couple drops of balsamic or red wine vinegar on a cracker... 

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On 6/9/2016 at 8:21 AM, graingrower said:

Depending on breed, dressed weight of finished feedlot cattle will typically run 62% to 68% of live weight; holsteins on the lower end, beef higher.  If you actually purchased a "cow", yields are far less.  From that hanging weight, your take home will be determined by the cuts you order.  If you grind everything into burger, the final yield will be much lower than cut/wrap/freeze all the bone-in cuts.  Remember the heart, liver, and tongue can add 25 lbs to the hanging total.  This week I quoted my customers at $1.92/lb hanging for angus and $1.88/lb hanging for holsteins, and $200/hd on butcher hogs delivered to their choice of processor. 

graingrower has it right, I've been on both ends of the this, both raising and buying 1/4's, I always figured 65% hanging weight from the live weight.  Then you still have all your bones, figure another 25%-30% drop, depending upon your cuts.  You need to find out from the butcher what the live or hanging weight is and what kind of critter is was, beef or holstein, market steer or skinny cow.   Sounds like it was on the smaller size, a true market steer is going to start out at 1200 pounds.

 

Another tip if you're buying a quarter is to buy '1/2 of a 1/2', you end up with a quarter but you get some cuts from the front quarter and some from the hind quarter.  

 

I love buying a quarter!!! You know where its coming from, you can get it cut the way you want - 1 inch steaks, 1/3 pound hamburger patties, two to package, 3 pound roasts, etc. Its not cheap but when you see sirloin steak in the store for 6.99 a pound, it works out. Plus you have to plan ahead and get your frozen packages out a few days early. I took Fridays hamburger patties out of the freezer this morning!!! :)

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$4.90 a lb finished is IMO high.   I've been buying a 1/2 and split that with another guy. 

As a rule what I can buy hamburger per lb. at the store is what I end up paying per lb finished when I buy a half. Soup bones, tongue, tail, & liver included.  If I bought today I'd expect to pay around $3 a lb., I've been doing this for a while.  Ask the cutter lots of questions before and you'll have less questions when you pick up your meat.  

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My buddy has been in the middle of a long stretch of overtime at work so I haven't had a chance to talk to him much about what he found out from the butcher but I'm guessing the qty and prices were accurate but just not what I expected.  Unfortunately my buddy has been doing all of the leg work on this for us so I'm out of the loop with the butcher.  Although I did just find a local elk farm that will sell a 1/2 or 1/4 elk for $5.15/pound (hanging weight).  If I'm already paying $4.90 for the beef I have I'd rather pony up the extra 25 cents/pound and get elk instead.

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My wife worked for a meat processor for many years and my daughter's fiance does now. Both of them gave me about the same answer but indicated that breed will make a difference. Some breeds have heavier bone structure and tend to be fattier than others and this will affect the final processed weight. Also, it will depend on the cuts you order. 

  • Hanging weight is the weight of the carcass after it has been skinned minus the head, lower limbs, and entrails.
  • Hanging weight will be about 60% of the live weight so a 1200 lb steer will end up at about 720 lbs. hanging estimate. 
  • Final weight will be about 60% - 65% of the hanging weight. So a 720 lb hanging weight will yield about 465 - 470 lbs. cut, wrapped, and frozen.

Obviously a half will be 230 - 240 lbs or a quarter would be about 115 - 120 lbs.

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We just bought a 1/2 of a 1/2 from a local farmer that I shoot trap with. Ours ended up being 186 pounds. Processing was $120 and we paid the farmer $1.80 a pound

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, nofishfisherman said:

The 186 pounds was that finished package weight for 1/4 of a cow?

Not sure. I didn't weight it but that is what they based their charges on. 

$14 for butchering and 186 pounds and $.56/pound for cutting. 

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half of a half is 1/4 so depending on it's size and weight it could be right get some of the best from both ends

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