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Old 06-28-2021, 04:23 PM   #1
TexanDuke
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Default Half Cow Cost?

Hey yíall!

I have the opportunity to purchase a half cow, grass fed/grain finished at $4.25/lb hanging weight with processing included.

Is this a good deal? Need some help from the TBH Rancher crowd.
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Old 06-28-2021, 04:32 PM   #2
RiverRat1
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I'd think not a good deal. But it depends on how good the meat is. If it's prime then maybe.

But I really don't know. I just know you can buy a 800# calf for around $700 but then you'd butcher it yourself..and don't know the quality of the calf either.

So I'm not much help
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Old 06-28-2021, 04:40 PM   #3
trophy8
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That’s cheaper than what I’ve seen. If it’s a known quality cow I’d say go for it so long as you trust their weights and butchering.
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Old 06-28-2021, 04:43 PM   #4
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I just split one with my FIL and paid more than that. But, I don't know that we got a good deal either... He was just excited about it so I told him I'd split.
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Old 06-28-2021, 04:43 PM   #5
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Goes for $4.95lb processed around the house.
Processed weight is around 400 to 500lbs generally.
So $2k to $2.5k for whole steer.

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Old 06-28-2021, 04:48 PM   #6
eradicator
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That's a pretty good deal if you can get it like it you want!
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Old 06-28-2021, 04:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trophy8 View Post
Thatís cheaper than what Iíve seen. If itís a known quality cow Iíd say go for it so long as you trust their weights and butchering.

Itís a beefmaster calf

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverRat1 View Post
I'd think not a good deal. But it depends on how good the meat is. If it's prime then maybe.

But I really don't know. I just know you can buy a 800# calf for around $700 but then you'd butcher it yourself..and don't know the quality of the calf either.

So I'm not much help


Lol thanks RiverRat!!


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Old 06-28-2021, 04:48 PM   #8
eradicator
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverRat1 View Post
I'd think not a good deal. But it depends on how good the meat is. If it's prime then maybe.

But I really don't know. I just know you can buy a 800# calf for around $700 but then you'd butcher it yourself..and don't know the quality of the calf either.

So I'm not much help
Atleast you CYA!
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Old 06-28-2021, 04:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by eradicator View Post
That's a pretty good deal if you can get it like it you want!

I just pick what I want off the cut sheet! Kinda overwhelming lol


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Old 06-28-2021, 04:50 PM   #10
trophy8
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Been seeing $5.50 locally. I’m no expert on it.

I’m in on some prime ribeyes at $5.50 per pound!
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Old 06-28-2021, 05:05 PM   #11
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When I had some acreage, I bought a 200 lb steer and raised it to slaughter. But, I got to thinking that I would have to have all the meat, even the cuts I don't care for along with the trim, ground beef. I sold that steer, made good money on it, and then went to Kroger and bought what I wanted. Now, I wait for meat to go on sale and buy a bunch and freeze it. I have prime rib roasts that cost 4.97 and flat irons that cost 5.99 in the freezer right now. Paying the price you are paying for that and ground beef along with stew meat and chuck roast/steaks is high to me.
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Old 06-28-2021, 05:40 PM   #12
eradicator
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabineHunter View Post
When I had some acreage, I bought a 200 lb steer and raised it to slaughter. But, I got to thinking that I would have to have all the meat, even the cuts I don't care for along with the trim, ground beef. I sold that steer, made good money on it, and then went to Kroger and bought what I wanted. Now, I wait for meat to go on sale and buy a bunch and freeze it. I have prime rib roasts that cost 4.97 and flat irons that cost 5.99 in the freezer right now. Paying the price you are paying for that and ground beef along with stew meat and chuck roast/steaks is high to me.
I shop at Kroger almost daily and they have great choice steaks. I see either side of it. Just a personal preference IMO.
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Old 06-28-2021, 05:44 PM   #13
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There's a lot to consider when purchasing from a known vs. an unknown individual.
Some Basics Questions...
*Do you know and trust the seller
*What breed is it, some breeds marble better than others while some are tough through and through
*How old, cattle over 30 months are subject to bone removal so bone in cuts are not available ie. soup bones, ribs, T-bone etc.
*Has it been subject to or free of growth hormones or antibiotics, when was last time animal ingested
*If antibiotics are given was it separated from herd
*How long will it age
*What is the type of grass/feed was fed, young green grass, old straw hay and what ____ this makes a difference on richness, texture, marbling, juiciness, tenderness and overall depth of flavor
*Careful husbandry also results in tenderness an flavor (which is not obtained through the wild west cowboys or supermarkets)
*Who will butcher and has the seller used them previously
*Who decides on the cuts
*Do you get the inners, are they included in hanging weight
*How will it be wrapped (paper, saran or vacuum seal)
*Who will pick up, is there travel time involved, fuel prices are on the rise along with everything else

Buying from an individual...
*Can be the best decision you'll ever make if your homework proves out to be accurate
*Knowing that growth hormones and antibiotics are not going to be part of your diet
*Knowing the beef has not left the country, trucked and shipped to who knows where, and processed outside the USA and only returned for you to ingest
*Can give you benefits being high Omega-3, low Omega-6, a healthy choice

There's more to it than just the price, wouldn't you agree?
This is just a good starting point. Remember, you own the decision.
Good luck on your purchase, whatever it may be...

tending the fire,
Bob G.
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Old 06-28-2021, 05:44 PM   #14
bowfishin fool
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Default Half Cow Cost?

Lots of good thoughts there



We sell calves at $5.95 hanging weight. About to pull our trigger on our sponsorship here on TBH.

Iíd say thatís a pretty fair deal.. especially if you know the calf has been handled properly and you get to pick your cuts.


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Old 06-28-2021, 07:05 PM   #15
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If your talking about an old worn out cow your going to get hamburger and a bunch of cuts that will be tough. I would just go to a meat market and buy the cuts you actually eat.
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Old 06-28-2021, 07:28 PM   #16
SabineHunter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowfishin fool View Post
Lots of good thoughts there



We sell calves at $5.95 hanging weight. About to pull our trigger on our sponsorship here on TBH.

Iíd say thatís a pretty fair deal.. especially if you know the calf has been handled properly and you get to pick your cuts.


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I have a question for you, when you say pick your cuts. If you buy a half of a calf, don't you get the entire half, all the cuts plus trim?
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Old 06-28-2021, 07:44 PM   #17
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You can pick up a quality show steer after show that dont sell for $2500. Most 1250-1450 on the hoof. Some of the best beef I have ever eaten
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Old 06-28-2021, 07:55 PM   #18
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I just allways think about how many TBones I could buy....I’m not feeding the troops anymore. I’d rather have fresh hamburger anyway...
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Old 06-28-2021, 08:02 PM   #19
doghouse
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Lot's depends on the quality of the calf. Angus, Hereford, Longhorn, how long on feed, etc.
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Old 06-28-2021, 08:05 PM   #20
TexanDuke
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Default Half Cow Cost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob G View Post
There's a lot to consider when purchasing from a known vs. an unknown individual.
Some Basics Questions...
*Do you know and trust the seller
*What breed is it, some breeds marble better than others while some are tough through and through
*How old, cattle over 30 months are subject to bone removal so bone in cuts are not available ie. soup bones, ribs, T-bone etc.
*Has it been subject to or free of growth hormones or antibiotics, when was last time animal ingested
*If antibiotics are given was it separated from herd
*How long will it age
*What is the type of grass/feed was fed, young green grass, old straw hay and what ____ this makes a difference on richness, texture, marbling, juiciness, tenderness and overall depth of flavor
*Careful husbandry also results in tenderness an flavor (which is not obtained through the wild west cowboys or supermarkets)
*Who will butcher and has the seller used them previously
*Who decides on the cuts
*Do you get the inners, are they included in hanging weight
*How will it be wrapped (paper, saran or vacuum seal)
*Who will pick up, is there travel time involved, fuel prices are on the rise along with everything else

Buying from an individual...
*Can be the best decision you'll ever make if your homework proves out to be accurate
*Knowing that growth hormones and antibiotics are not going to be part of your diet
*Knowing the beef has not left the country, trucked and shipped to who knows where, and processed outside the USA and only returned for you to ingest
*Can give you benefits being high Omega-3, low Omega-6, a healthy choice

There's more to it than just the price, wouldn't you agree?
This is just a good starting point. Remember, you own the decision.
Good luck on your purchase, whatever it may be...

tending the fire,
Bob G.

Thank you so much for taking the time to drop that knowledge BobÖ. I really appreciate it. Thatís great stuff

After talking with the rancher. Itís a beefmaster calf, I get to pick my all cuts. Being processed by Panola County Processing to USDA standards. Being fed hay and cracked corn 30 days before kill date and being hung 21 days.

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Old 06-28-2021, 08:16 PM   #21
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Bob G has provided the most useful information so far.
Last year, my neighbor sold some good quality calves for $750.
He fed them his preferred grain/protein mix for 3 months to get very good marbling.
I think the feed cost was around $225/calf.
He charged $500 for his 3 months of labor /calf.
The butcher charged $.98/lb (hanging weight) and most calves were in the 800 lb (live) weight.
I've been very pleased with the taste and tenderness.
Also good to know no antibiotics/hormones added.
Sold 4 calves to co-workers; they are all extremely pleased.
It's not for everybody, but I recall a 'meat shortage'/'rationing' in some grocery stores a year ago...
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Old 06-28-2021, 08:54 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexanDuke View Post
Thank you so much for taking the time to drop that knowledge Bob…. I really appreciate it. That’s great stuff

After talking with the rancher. It’s a beefmaster calf, I get to pick my all cuts. Being processed by Panola County Processing to USDA standards. Being fed hay and cracked corn 30 days before kill date and being hung 21 days.

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What's the slaughter weight of the calf after feed? That's not enough time to marble unless he's giving the cattle some type of supplement on grass - more so, a beef master is not an animal know for good carcass characteristics.

Most fed slaughter cattle are in feed yards at least 180-200 days. They go in about 5-700lbs and come out around 1350lbs. If you're used to buying grain fed beef from stores you will not be happy with the product you're describing.
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Old 06-28-2021, 09:20 PM   #23
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My co-worker said he prefers grass fed. Years ago, we had a 1000 steer butchered and it was some of the best beef ever-grass fed
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Old 06-28-2021, 09:30 PM   #24
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Right now the hanging weight of the calf is estimated to be 750 lbs total


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Old 06-28-2021, 09:44 PM   #25
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Go for it. A lot of places won't allow it to age that long.
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Old 06-28-2021, 09:53 PM   #26
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Default Great question

Quote:
Originally Posted by SabineHunter View Post
I have a question for you, when you say pick your cuts. If you buy a half of a calf, don't you get the entire half, all the cuts plus trim?
If you buy half you do get the left or the right half. I say this left or right because some folks are picky, no kidding...
What I mean by the cuts is you get to choose how you want it processed. It's call a cut sheet. I don't have one in front to explain.

Overall a quick explanation is like this
Ribs - whole or short
Hind quarter - roast or steaks ( if steaks - bone in or out, tenderized Y or N)
Backstrap - NY or ribeye( if ribeye - bone in or out)
Tenderloin - whole or steaks
Trimming - hamburger or chili or both (# per package) as someone stated you may want all hamburger cause ya have an old cow or certain breed and it will be tough.

So you do come home with a half a calf cut up to the specified cuts you want.

One thing to remember is you don't come home with the same # of meat as the hanging weight either. It's always less due to bones removed. (although you can request those to be packaged as well to make soup or feed the dogs)

Hope this helps...

tending the fire,
Bob G.
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Old 06-28-2021, 09:58 PM   #27
SabineHunter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob G View Post
If you buy half you do get the left or the right half. I say this left or right because some folks are picky, no kidding...
What I mean by the cuts is you get to choose how you want it processed. It's call a cut sheet. I don't have one in front to explain.

Overall a quick explanation is like this
Ribs - whole or short
Hind quarter - roast or steaks ( if steaks - bone in or out, tenderized Y or N)
Backstrap - NY or ribeye( if ribeye - bone in or out)
Tenderloin - whole or steaks
Trimming - hamburger or chili or both (# per package) as someone stated you may want all hamburger cause ya have an old cow or certain breed and it will be tough.

So you do come home with a half a calf cut up to the specified cuts you want.

One thing to remember is you don't come home with the same # of meat as the hanging weight either. It's always less due to bones removed. (although you can request those to be packaged as well to make soup or feed the dogs)

Hope this helps...

tending the fire,
Bob G.
Thank you Bob. Very informative.
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Old 06-28-2021, 10:11 PM   #28
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There's nothing like some good quality grain fed beef. Our kids have been raising some commercial steers for our county fair's commercial steer program. The kids learn about the beef industry, keep records on their cattle and then sell their steers to market weight.
We've been fortunate enough to have had several of our steers be raffled off as prizes at the South Central Cow/Calf Clinic held each October.
The lucky winners have always had good things to say about the quality of meat.
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Old 06-29-2021, 02:33 PM   #29
bowfishin fool
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabineHunter View Post
Thank you Bob. Very informative.

I learned about 4/3ís of what I know from that man! A Very patient teacher he is!


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Old 06-29-2021, 02:54 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIL HUNTS View Post
There's nothing like some good quality grain fed beef. Our kids have been raising some commercial steers for our county fair's commercial steer program. The kids learn about the beef industry, keep records on their cattle and then sell their steers to market weight.
We've been fortunate enough to have had several of our steers be raffled off as prizes at the South Central Cow/Calf Clinic held each October.
The lucky winners have always had good things to say about the quality of meat.

Us as well sir
Ffa grain fed beef is so dang good
You wonít buy anymore from stores
At least I wonít


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Old 06-29-2021, 03:28 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob G View Post
If you buy half you do get the left or the right half. I say this left or right because some folks are picky, no kidding...
What I mean by the cuts is you get to choose how you want it processed. It's call a cut sheet. I don't have one in front to explain.

Overall a quick explanation is like this
Ribs - whole or short
Hind quarter - roast or steaks ( if steaks - bone in or out, tenderized Y or N)
Backstrap - NY or ribeye( if ribeye - bone in or out)
Tenderloin - whole or steaks
Trimming - hamburger or chili or both (# per package) as someone stated you may want all hamburger cause ya have an old cow or certain breed and it will be tough.

So you do come home with a half a calf cut up to the specified cuts you want.

One thing to remember is you don't come home with the same # of meat as the hanging weight either. It's always less due to bones removed. (although you can request those to be packaged as well to make soup or feed the dogs)

Hope this helps...

tending the fire,
Bob G.

Yep was reading down through here and about to say just FYI you wont end up with half of the hanging weight. You will end up with about 60-65% of the hanging weight of a carcass cut up meat. Now 1/2 that since you are buying half.

EX 750LBS hanging carcass x .63 avg is 472 and half that so roughly 200-240lbs of meat.

I give this for an example because some people see $8 a LB for 1/4 or halfs after butcher and think dang thats high or at $5LB hanging im getting a good deal well. Once you cut that animal up you loose alot of weight. which is what make the $8 a LB meat.

Last edited by dclifton; 06-29-2021 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 06-29-2021, 03:32 PM   #32
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One other thing i will say is be prepared to be spoiled. Because we grind up anything we can. And i can promise you ive ground up prolapsed cows and broke leg old bulls and the Hamburger meat we get from them is still 10-1 better than what you get in the store. Unless you are buying something top shelf.

You will be hooked.
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Old 06-29-2021, 03:50 PM   #33
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That is in line with what we sell our processed beef for if buying 1/2
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Old 06-30-2021, 12:57 PM   #34
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I have a 1/2 beef going to slaughter July 12th. I will pay $3.80 per lb, hanging weight.. this includes all basic processing.
I can update later what total cost finished butchering weight.
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Old 07-02-2021, 09:56 AM   #35
Bob G
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Curious as to if you decided to buy?
FYI -I have an American Aberdeen (lowline) to be processed at the end of July, will be out of processor mid August.
They are the smallest frame of the Angus line, so you don't have to purchase another freezer.
Marble well, (not as much fat as Waygu) and not as costly
Wish you well whatever route you take.

"Eat more beef"

tending the fire,
Bob G.
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Old 07-02-2021, 10:11 AM   #36
BrandonA
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I just paid $4.75 for a half side.
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Old 07-02-2021, 11:20 AM   #37
Bob G
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Wink cow

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonA View Post
I just paid $4.75 for a half side.
Want to share details? Always interested to know Paul Harvey's quote "The rest of the story" ...

tending the fire,
Bob G.
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Old 07-02-2021, 01:39 PM   #38
BrandonA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob G View Post
Want to share details? Always interested to know Paul Harvey's quote "The rest of the story" ...

tending the fire,
Bob G.
A buddy of mine has a business. Great beef and awesome folks. I think he is going up on his prices soon do to feed cost. $4.75 a LB is fair enough price IMO

https://www.thomascattleandcatering.com/
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Old 07-02-2021, 02:22 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob G View Post
Curious as to if you decided to buy?
FYI -I have an American Aberdeen (lowline) to be processed at the end of July, will be out of processor mid August.
They are the smallest frame of the Angus line, so you don't have to purchase another freezer.
Marble well, (not as much fat as Waygu) and not as costly
Wish you well whatever route you take.

"Eat more beef"

tending the fire,
Bob G.

Sent ya a PM Bob


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Old 07-02-2021, 09:05 PM   #40
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Default PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexanDuke View Post
Sent ya a PM Bob


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Back at ya...

tending the fire,
Bob G.
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Old 07-03-2021, 10:30 AM   #41
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Just read a study the other day in one of the producers magazines about the rise in popularity of Holstein meat quality vs Angus, surprisingly the showed the meat was of equal quality with the only draw back being final yield . We have a Angus/Holstein cross steer that we are going to process at the end of this year to see how it goes.
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Old 07-03-2021, 03:12 PM   #42
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The wife and I will be splitting a steer with my parents next year. They just had a whole cow butchered, and as long as the wait list was, she was a big Ďol girl. So, it will be a while.

Never go less than half and half. Thereís just too much arguing about the premium cuts. Most people just canít understand how little of each there are in a carcass compared lesser desired roasts, ground, etcÖ


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Old 07-03-2021, 10:31 PM   #43
stevieray54
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Buying a whole steer or half isn’t the best way to go. Your only going to get so many ribeyes and T bones and a butt load of hamburger. If you took the money you have totally invested in a steer went to a know. Butcher shop. You can buy the select cuts and minimum of hamburger.
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Old 07-03-2021, 10:49 PM   #44
BertramBass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevieray54 View Post
Buying a whole steer or half isnít the best way to go. Your only going to get so many ribeyes and T bones and a butt load of hamburger. If you took the money you have totally invested in a steer went to a know. Butcher shop. You can buy the select cuts and minimum of hamburger.
Spot on. Tons of burger.
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Old 07-04-2021, 09:43 AM   #45
bowfishin fool
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BertramBass View Post
Spot on. Tons of burger.

Iíd disagree, depends on what cuts you ask for.. lots of people have roasts (among other cuts) turned into hamburger.

A decent butcher should be able to keep hamburger to 30-35% of your yield.


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Old 07-23-2021, 07:39 AM   #46
Zmaxhunter
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Originally Posted by Zmaxhunter View Post
I have a 1/2 beef going to slaughter July 12th. I will pay $3.80 per lb, hanging weight.. this includes all basic processing.
I can update later what total cost finished butchering weight.
My 1/2 is with the butcher now.. hanging weight is 395.5lbs.
I placed my cut order a few days ago.
My filets, kc strips cut to 1 1/4"
Bone in rib steaks 1 1/4"
Flank and Skirt steaks
Sirlions cut to 1"
Roasts all 3 to 4lbs
80/20 grind on burger
Total $1502.90
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Old 07-23-2021, 08:56 AM   #47
bowfishin fool
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zmaxhunter View Post
My 1/2 is with the butcher now.. hanging weight is 395.5lbs.
I placed my cut order a few days ago.
My filets, kc strips cut to 1 1/4"
Bone in rib steaks 1 1/4"
Flank and Skirt steaks
Sirlions cut to 1"
Roasts all 3 to 4lbs
80/20 grind on burger
Total $1502.90

395.5 #ís for your half?


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Old 07-24-2021, 05:07 PM   #48
jc1989
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is butchering included? that's often one of the more costlier parts
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Old 07-24-2021, 09:37 PM   #49
rut-ro
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We buy 2 steers every year at the Fort Bend County Fair. We then send them to Fishers Meat Market where they feed them out for a couple weeks and then they butcher the steers how we want. Is it cheaper than the store ? No but we support the youth and the meat taste a lot better
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Old 07-24-2021, 09:54 PM   #50
Zmaxhunter
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Yes, the $3.80 per lb, hanging weight includes all butchering and wrapping fees..
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