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Buying a Cow

Old 01-15-2021, 08:32 AM
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Default Buying a Cow

The wife and I are thinking bout getting a side of beef from a local butcher. Its locally raised, grass fed grain finished. No hormones etc. $4.25/lb hanging weight which I read usually you get about 60% of the hanging weight in cuts. Comes out to about $7/lb after cutting.

Who on here does this? Any advice to share? This seems like a reasonable price from what Ive been seeing around.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Old 01-15-2021, 08:39 AM
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I own cows. That's a pretty good price if it's packaged right. You might want to look into local FFA auctions as well. My son sold his last steer for $2.00/ lb. The local processor cut it for $1.00/lb and it dressed out at just shy of 600lbs of meat.
Old 01-15-2021, 08:43 AM
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Thats a good idea. We also have a farm on our road too and I thought about asking them. This same place will process it and the fees seem pretty reasonable.

The information I received was that the price is $4.25/lb including cutting, wrapping and freezing. I plan to vacuum seal it and having it already frozen would be nice.
Old 01-15-2021, 08:48 AM
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your going to end up with some nice select cuts, then your going to end up with alot of hamburger and sausage.

do you consume that much beef?

do you have the freezer space for it?

usually it ends up being cheaper and easier to just go to publix and buy what you need when you need it.
Old 01-15-2021, 08:53 AM
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Watch for the terms "no hormone" or "antibiotic free." These are bit of a trap. Any animal that "goes to market" has to be "antibiotic free." That does not mean they have never had antibiotics. The USDA requires a period of time between antibiotics and slaughter which makes all animals "antibiotic free."

Grass fed/ grain finished may also mean something different. For example, my cows are free to graze. They have rolls of hay that they have access to as well but they also get 16lbs of grain every other day. This is not a finishing grain. It's a 11% protein grain used to build mass. A finishing grain will have a lot more molasses and a higher protein content that puts fat onto the cow.
Old 01-15-2021, 08:54 AM
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Make sure it hangs for a long time. Get the blood out.
Old 01-15-2021, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolandt03 View Post

do you have the freezer space for it?
there is truth to this!!!! A half a cow is a lot of meat. One small deer took up our entire freezer inside the house. When we harvest a cow, it takes up a whole deep freezer and then some.
Old 01-15-2021, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolandt03 View Post
your going to end up with some nice select cuts, then your going to end up with alot of hamburger and sausage.

do you consume that much beef?

do you have the freezer space for it?

usually it ends up being cheaper and easier to just go to publix and buy what you need when you need it.
I do have the freezer space. We have a 20 cubic foot chest freezer so we are covered there. We do love beef and eat a lot of it. We figure this should last us a year and stored properly that shouldn't be a problem.

I do wonder about cost though. Is it cheaper and easier to go to the store as needed? I'd say it's not easier than just running down to the freezer (the nearest grocery store is 45 minutes from my house) but maybe it's cheaper? I assumed the cost savings was the main motivator to purchase this way. With ribeyes being $15/lb and 90% ground beef being $6.49 /lb (just googled my local grocers price online) it seems like there must be some value to it.
Old 01-15-2021, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Basketcase View Post
The wife and I are thinking bout getting a side of beef from a local butcher. Its locally raised, grass fed grain finished. No hormones etc. $4.25/lb hanging weight which I read usually you get about 60% of the hanging weight in cuts. Comes out to about $7/lb after cutting.

Who on here does this? Any advice to share? This seems like a reasonable price from what Ive been seeing around.

Any feedback is appreciated.
Do yourself a favor and go half or quarters at first if you can. My wife and I have been doing that with 3 other couples the last 10 years. We have a local farm that has 60-80 head at a time. We usually buy in the spring, each family ends up with about 100-120lbs of beef.
Old 01-15-2021, 09:21 AM
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My son does this every year but he has a friend who owns a cattle ranch so he buy the calf and his friend lets it graze for free.
Old 01-15-2021, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by FASTFJR View Post
Do yourself a favor and go half or quarters at first if you can. My wife and I have been doing that with 3 other couples the last 10 years. We have a local farm that has 60-80 head at a time. We usually buy in the spring, each family ends up with about 100-120lbs of beef.
This is good feedback too. Its hard for me to estimate how much we really eat. We thought about going in with some friends on a side so we'd each be getting a quarter. Does that 100-120 lb give you what you need for the year?
Old 01-15-2021, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by mikefloyd View Post
My son does this every year but he has a friend who owns a cattle ranch so he buy the calf and his friend lets it graze for free.
I'd love to do that. I actually have the land and barn for probably 5 cows or so. The wife wants cows and so do I. The problem is that our reasons for wanting cows are not compatible with each other. lol. She wants pet cows and we could never eat our pets. I'm not interested in freeloader cows.
Old 01-15-2021, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Basketcase View Post
I'd love to do that. I actually have the land and barn for probably 5 cows or so. The wife wants cows and so do I. The problem is that our reasons for wanting cows are not compatible with each other. lol. She wants pet cows and we could never eat our pets. I'm not interested in freeloader cows.
Raising cows is a commitment; if you have time to do it and enjoy the process then it's not a bad idea but I would think to make it worth the trouble you would need more than 5.
Old 01-15-2021, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Basketcase View Post
This is good feedback too. Its hard for me to estimate how much we really eat. We thought about going in with some friends on a side so we'd each be getting a quarter. Does that 100-120 lb give you what you need for the year?
Its plenty for the two of us. With that said we have been eating less and less beef every year. Will have a big cookout or two during the summer and treat our friends to some nice beef. This summer was a bust, I think we still have 20-25lbs left in our big freezer
Old 01-15-2021, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Basketcase View Post
I do have the freezer space. We have a 20 cubic foot chest freezer so we are covered there. We do love beef and eat a lot of it. We figure this should last us a year and stored properly that shouldn't be a problem.

I do wonder about cost though. Is it cheaper and easier to go to the store as needed? I'd say it's not easier than just running down to the freezer (the nearest grocery store is 45 minutes from my house) but maybe it's cheaper? I assumed the cost savings was the main motivator to purchase this way. With ribeyes beingu$15/lb and 90% ground beef being $6.49 /lb (just googled my local grocers price online) it seems like there must be some value to it.
I’d say you’re paying top retail dollar for beef with those prices. Sounds like buying in bulk doesn’t phase you, with a costco, sam’s club or bj’s membership you can do significantly better then the retail prices you’ve posted above.

What is the grade of the meat coming from your “cow”?? Prime grade ribeye at $15 a pound isn’t an outrageous price. However it’s not hard to find choice or select grade at $9 a pound and on sale for $6 even at a normal grocery store.

Convenience or quality might be a reason for you to buy this cow but financially, doesn’t sound like a deal to me.

Last edited by Mpellet; 01-15-2021 at 09:49 AM.
Old 01-15-2021, 09:42 AM
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Here is a good example of pricing... I bought a whole bone in rib eye roast for $52.00 from the grocery store. It was marked down from $152.00. I had to hand cut it myself but I got beef ribs and 9 one inch thick rib eye steaks out of it. The ONLY reason why I bought is that it was $52.00. I can't process a cow for that price. Had I paid $152 for it as was initially marked, I would have been way over priced.

Cows are a pain in the ass... and dumb. That is why we eat them I have one heifer that I might just eat because she is the biggest PITA of them all. Mine are all very friendly but you have to remember what they are for.





Old 01-15-2021, 09:49 AM
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Have you tried a few cuts before you buy a half steer....

My buddy raises black Angus all natural....no thanks... bland
Old 01-15-2021, 09:51 AM
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I get a 1/4 of a "cow" annually . It gets delivered to me all labeled and vacuum packed. Mmmmm.
A friend of mine does this for a living. Good folks.
Queen Bee Farms, Mebane NC.
Old 01-15-2021, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by k9medic View Post
Here is a good example of pricing... I bought a whole bone in rib eye roast for $52.00 from the grocery store. It was marked down from $152.00. I had to hand cut it myself but I got beef ribs and 9 one inch thick rib eye steaks out of it. The ONLY reason why I bought is that it was $52.00. I can't process a cow for that price. Had I paid $152 for it as was initially marked, I would have been way over priced. Cows are a pain in the ass... and dumb. That is why we eat them I have one heifer that I might just eat because she is the biggest PITA of them all. Mine are all very friendly but you have to remember what they are for.
We raised cattle when I was growing up. We had a few that were a real PITA. Mostly "bulls" we let get too big before we clipped them. One steer was particularly difficult (always getting out and being disruptive when we handled them).........My Dad named him Freezer.
Old 01-15-2021, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by k9medic View Post
I own cows. That's a pretty good price if it's packaged right. You might want to look into local FFA auctions as well. My son sold his last steer for $2.00/ lb. The local processor cut it for $1.00/lb and it dressed out at just shy of 600lbs of meat.
My mom bought an FFA pig at auction at our county fair. A nice fat sow.

What they got from the butcher was the foulest most disgusting meat. You couldn't dethaw it without it stinking up the kitchen.

They took a sample to a food scientist who was able to show that the high testosterone levels in the meat showed it was from a male.

They took the butcher to small claims court and got their money for the butchering and pig back.

My advice is to just be careful.

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