Rose Ranch Cattle Co
Here is what happens when a cow is processed.
The following are some terms and a basic outline of the harvesting process as it affects the quantity of beef you’ll receive.
Live Weight vs. Hanging Weight
An average sized one year old steer or bull weighs approximately 750lbs; that weight is called the live weight. Our breed of beef is Brangus which we finish on grass. So we have a 750 lb. steer. (Heiffers are lighter than steers) Once the animal is harvested however, the skin, head, non usable organs, and hooves are removed and the carcass is split down the middle and weighed, giving us the hanging or carcass weight, which is usually around 60% of the live weight. The two sides are then hung in a cooler for 11 days to age. This improves tenderness, flavor and also further reduces weight due to evaporation.
Hanging Weight vs. Take home weight
After aging, each side is fabricated into the individual cuts you have chosen. The weight after this process is called the take home weight. The percentage of the hanging weight that remains is called the yield and is generally between 60% and 70% of hanging weight. This percentage varies based on a number of factors including:
• Bone-in vs. boneless – This will dramatically affect yield; the more boneless cuts that are made, the lower the yield. It will not however significantly affect the actual amount of meat you receive.
• The amount of fat remaining on the meat cuts – The yield will vary based on how much surface fat the cutter leaves on the cuts.
• Leanness of ground beef – If the ground beef is made very lean the yield will be less than if the ground is made with a higher percentage of fat.
So How Is Price Determined?
When you buy meat this way the price is set based on hanging weight. The processor only gives us the hanging weight and not the yield.
The bottom line then...
Let’s say you are ordering a whole cow from an animal with a live weight of 750 lbs and a hanging weight of 450 lbs.(750 x 60%) Your total cost, (this years calves) are $8.99 price per pound of hanging weight would be $4045.50 (450 lbs x $8.99). With a yield of 65% of the hanging weight the beef you would receive would be 357 lbs (450 x .65). So a side of beef from this example would be approx 178 lbs.
This price includes everything.
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