We recently had two steers butchered. We raise these cows to provide meat for our family and to sell beef shares to other families. Our number one goal is nutrient dense meat that nourishes our bodies and animals that are well cared for. That means meeting all their needs and letting them live their lives as nature intended.
While I was talking to potential customers I answered a lot of questions. Questions about how we raised the cows, what they were fed, and how much beef they would be getting. In my article, How to Buy Beef Directly from a Farmer, I cover a lot of these questions and I go over the different share options.
For this article we will focus on what you bring home for beef when you order half a beef share also called, half a cow.
Half a Beef Share
First, it depends how much the cow weighs for how much meat you will take home. And it breaks down into 3 different weights. Live weight, hanging weight and take-home weight. We charge on the hanging weight, as do most producers who are selling shares.
You are technically buying a “share” in a live cow. Then you work with the butcher to order your cuts.
The steer that we got half of weighed 574lbs hanging weight, so he was just under 1000lbs live weight. Half of that would be 287lbs. If a customer was buying that share, we would charge on 287lbs of hanging weight. The butcher also chargers a fee per pound on the hanging weight and a kill fee for his processing.
The take-home weight is approximately 60% of the hanging, so we brought home approximately 172lbs of beef.
What Cuts Do You Get?
When our customers order a half or a whole cow beef share they choose their custom cuts. The butcher goes over this with them and also helps them with the process. It’s great to have a knowledgeable butcher!
Below is our cuts and how many packages we got. I have not weighed each package to see exactly what they weigh but our burger was packaged into 2lbs packs so right there I know I got 60lbs of burger. I have also weighed a few roasts and they have all been around 3lbs. Stew, cube steaks and ribeyes have been around 1lb.
- Burger – 30 (2lbs each)
- Top Round Roasts – 3
- Chuck Roasts – 4
- Brisket – 2
- Short Ribs – 6
- Stew Meat – 4
- Soup Bones – 3
- Sirloin Tip – 3
- Hanger – 1
- Ribeyes – 8 (each package has 2)
- Sirloin – 7
- Filet Mignon – 3 (each package has 2)
- Cube Steaks – 8
- Liver – 6
- Heart – 1
- Fat – 1
As you can see, this is a lot of meat!
How to Estimate How Much Beef Your Family Needs
First, ask yourself how much beef you eat on a weekly basis. We eat beef on average about 3 nights a week, especially when it’s fresh and delicious from our farm! So if I estimate that we eat approximately 6lbs of beef per week, divided by 172lbs, that should yield about 28 weeks worth of beef for our family. Which should be pretty perfect timing until we butcher our next steers and fill the freezer again.
How Much Freezer Space Do I Need?
A half will take about 6-7 cubic feet.
How Long Will it Last in a Freezer?
Our beef is packaged fresh and frozen right away so beef packaged like this will definitely last at least 6 months and most of the time up to a year.
I hope this article has shed some more light onto the process of bringing home your beef share. Please feel free to comment below with any questions you may have!