Grass-Fed Beef Whole-Animal Purchasing Notes
"Hanging Weight", "Finished Weight" and Freezer Space
Pricing is determined by using “Hanging Weight’ at $5.50/lb. The term "Hanging Weight" can be a point of confusion and understandably so. The direct market beef sector (rancher to consumer) has traditionally used this pricing method and works well for the producer and processor. We prefer to use this method for several reasons. 1). You, the consumer will know exactly what you are paying for your beef as soon as the animal is slaughtered versus waiting until it has been aged, cut and packaged (a 3-4 week process). 2). The overall cost to you per pound is less. 3). We are able to use our local, state inspected processors rather than traveling to a USDA inspected facility. We can assure you that our local businesses are held to the highest cleanliness and processing standards!
"Hanging Weight" is determined by weighing the carcass after slaughter and removal of the head, organs, hooves...and before removal of the bones. There will be some loss of usable weight during the cutting and wrapping process depending on how much bone is discarded. Some of this can be recovered by packaging bones - it’s probably not necessary to mention the benefit of grass-fed and finished bone broth as the demand is so strong that we could likely sell bones alone if the animals came that way! The weight of your meat in the packaging is referred to as "finished weight". Reference the examples below to get some frame of reference of what to expect. Please keep in mind that this is just an example and weights vary per individual animal. Also, ALL processing costs (slaughter, cutting and wrapping) are INCLUDED in the hanging weight price.
Let's assume an animal has a hanging weight of 600 pounds and a "finished weight" (weight in the packages) of 360 pounds (typically 60% of hanging weight). One quarter would then yield 150 pounds hanging weight and 90 pounds finished weight. For purchasing considerations, the cost breakdown would be as follows:
600 X $5.50 = $3300
1/4 = $825
To figure the finished weight pricing per pound in this example:
$825/90 = $9.17/lb.
Let's assume an animal has a hanging weight of 800 pounds and finished weight of 480 pounds. One quarter would yield 200 pounds hanging weight and 120 pounds finished weight.
800X$5.50 = $4400
1/4 = $1100
Finished weight per pound in this example:
$1100/120 = $9.17/lb.
*Keep in mind, this price includes all cuts from ground beef to tenderloin including bones and organ meat if you wish!
How much meat in the package to expect:
Using the above example#1, if we had this meat cut into 10% steaks, 25% ground and 65% roasts, it would yield 9 pounds of steaks, 22.5 pounds of ground and 54 pounds of roasts. We typically have the animals cut with a higher percentage of roasts as this works well for crock pot or slow cooking and this method is more suitable for lean, grass-finished beef.
Freezer Space Required:
Regarding freezer space required, since we raise small to moderately framed animals, you can typically fit a whole beef (example #1) in a 20 cubic foot stand-up freezer. You would probably need another small freezer for example #2. Again, this is just an estimate.
How much do I need for my family?
This is a difficult question to answer. Every family has their meat consumption preferences. We recommend starting with one 1/4 and see how quickly you go through it. Something to consider: Truly grass-fed and finished beef is much more nutrient-dense than corn-fed beef and, consequently, will satisfy you with less quantity consumed compared to corn-fed, feedlot beef.
A $100 deposit per quarter animal is required at a specified date before slaughter. Updates regarding slaughter schedules will be sent via email.
The beef will be "dry aged" in a cooler for 2-3 weeks after slaughter and before cutting. We will call or email when the beef has been packaged and we know the pickup date. At this time, due to our small farm size in volume, we are able to offer free delivery within a reasonable distance from the farm.
Payment in full is due upon delivery.
To Recap the Process:
1). Place your deposit for a 1/4, 1/2 or whole animal by a pre-determined deadline
2). We have your animal slaughtered at a local facility
3). You are given the “Hanging Weight” by which your cost is determined
4). The animal is delivered to the processor for dry-aging, cutting and packaging
5). When the processing is complete, we coordinate a delivery date with you.
6). Enjoy Pure, Pasture-2-Plate beef!