If you are new to buying direct from the farm, we have put together a list of commonly asked questions to aid in understanding how this process works. Our pricing on beef shares is $3.99 / lb. hanging weight plus processing. Once you have reserved your share, we will notify you of the harvest date a few weeks prior to give you a head's up.
Q: What is hanging weight?
Hanging weight refers to the weight of the animal after harvest. You only pay for YOUR PORTION of the hanging weight. Say an animal weighs 1000 lbs live weight, its hanging weight will be roughly 55-60% of that, so around 600 lbs. for that 1000 lb animal. If you'd purchased a 1/2 share, you'd pay for 3.99 x 300 lbs. or around $1,197 plus processing. Of course each animal finishes out at a slightly different live weight, so this amount will vary, but gives a ballpark figure. Our steers usually finish at between 1000-1200 lbs. live weight.
Q: How much is processing?
We use Dewig Meats in Haubstadt. Their processing fees are based on the live weight of the animal. They charge .45 a lb. for processing a whole or half cow, and .55 a lb. for processing a mixed 1/4 (meaning you will get cuts from the front and rear of the cow). They also charge a small extra fee for things like pre-made hamburger patties, anything tenderized, cubed, or links. Again, you only pay for your share of the processing. Using the 1000 lb live steer as our example, and you purchased a 1/2 share, you would pay processing for 500 lbs. x .45 = $225.00 plus any "extras" you request like pre-made patties. Processing fees include cutting, double wrapping and blast freezing.
Q: How much freezer space will I need?
Our cattle are a bit smaller than traditionally raised beef cattle, which makes them not only more affordable, the beef yield is easier to store! A 1/4 beef will yield around 110-125 lbs. of meat for your freezer once processing is complete. A 1/2 beef will yield around 220-240 lbs. actual meat, and a whole beef will equal approx. 440-480 lbs. of beef for your freezer. Again, these amounts are approximate, depending on the live weight of the animal at processing. I can fit a 1/2 beef easily into an average sized upright freezer, and a 1/2 beef will feed our family of four for about 3/4 of the year.
Q: How do I reserve my share?
We ask a $400 deposit for a whole beef, a $300 deposit for a 1/2 beef, and $150 for a 1/4 share. this helps ensure I have the whole animal sold prior to market date and helps us avoid scrambling for another buyer last minute should anyone forfeit their share. This deposit amount is then deducted from the final amount you owe for your beef.
Q: How do I customize my order?
When your beef is delivered, you will receive a notification from us and will need to contact Dewig's to give them your processing instructions. If ordering a 1/2 or whole, you can ask for whatever cuts you like and specify the thickness of your steaks. If you order a 1/4 share, you will be sharing that 1/2 of the cow with another customer and while you both will receive the same cuts and your steaks will usually be the standard 3/4 inch thickness, you will still receive a good variety of cuts both from the front and rear of the cow. Dewig's processes everything by the half and they do not usually change their cuts until they move on the next side of beef on the line.
Q: Can I get organ meats?
Yes, you can request the cow tongue, liver, heart, and kidneys, although for obvious reasons these are on a first come, first served basis. If you would like these organ meats, you will need to request them when you reserve your beef.
Still have a few more questions? Email us and ask away!