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What should I know or ask about getting a half cow/beef?

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What should I know or ask about getting a half cow/beef?

Old 02-07-2018, 02:27 PM
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Default What should I know or ask about getting a half cow/beef?

Going to talk to a guy about getting a 1/2 cow and butchering for me. Never done this, but thinking someone here has. What would be good to know or ask. Is it all pretty much the same or what? If I pick the cow, what would I be looking for?
Old 02-07-2018, 02:34 PM
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Let me know if you want to split it up Pat...we have been thinking of doing the same!

Where are you going to get it from?
Old 02-07-2018, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by triumphrick View Post
Let me know if you want to split it up Pat...we have been thinking of doing the same!

Where are you going to get it from?
I will let you know. Have a parent that raises cows/cattle. Told him I want to go out coyote hunting with him and will find out more! Maybe I will get a good deal, not that I know what a good deal would be! Maybe someone can answer that too!
Old 02-07-2018, 02:54 PM
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I'm not sure what the going price is , but you can't go wrong , really .

Corn fed beef is the best , IMO , but either way the hamburger will be delicious !!
Old 02-07-2018, 02:59 PM
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I have a friend that gets a calf every year raises it then slaughters himself usually a couple weeks before Christmas. I've helped in the processing a few times and it's very interesting to see the multiple different cuts and how little goes to waste. Needless to say I try and keep him up with a steady supply of tuna fish over the summer.
Old 02-07-2018, 03:06 PM
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What to ask? Well you,can tell a lot by sticking your head up a cows ass, OR. You can take your butchers word for it.

( Tommy Boy movie quote)
Old 02-07-2018, 03:16 PM
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Sometimes I buy a showpig from the local fair. Has been $0.75 per lb live weight for a hog that is going to go about 230. Seems like it was $0.50 or $0.60 per lb butcher, cut, and wrap.
The kids brush and hand feed the pigs every day of their life until they go to the butcher and the quality is vastly superior to what you get at the store. Would not call it a bargain though because you could get only the products you want when they are on sale and it would be cheaper, but likely would not be as good.

I got a 1/2 grass fed beef few years ago. You go through a check sheet to indicate how you want it butchered, but you are going to get the heart, tongue, and other various cuts you really don't want, a lot of hamburger, and not much of some the cuts you do want like rib steaks and tbones. Which may be fine as long as you are aware of what it is going to be. FWIW, the grass fed beef is probably more healthy but is not what you typically look for in a steak.
Old 02-07-2018, 03:32 PM
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Ask what the cows name is. Nobody wants to eat meat from a cow with a weird name.
Old 02-07-2018, 03:32 PM
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Is this a situation where you get to pick your cow while alive? If so, does the whole cow have to be sold before slaughtering/butchering begins?

What grade of beef?

Corn fed or grass fed (the latest rage, but just a sales gimmick)?

A front quarter and a hind quarter?

Is packaging included or will you get it in bulk and have to package yourself?

What is the percentage of fat in the burger? Ground chuck at the grocer usually has 20% fat and looks red. Ground round will have 5% or less and is dark red (too dry for my taste). The cheap burger will have 23% fat and will look pink (shrinks up real bad when cooked).

Can you get your steaks cut to any thickness you desire? I prefer 1 1/2" steaks. Same goes for the roast - about 3-4 lbs is a good size.

How many times can you get your cube steak run through the cuber? I like 3 times, but twice is normal at the grocer.

Just a few that I would ask, but a long time ago, I worked as a meat cutter while going to college, so I'm pretty familiar with the process and the cuts.



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Old 02-07-2018, 03:34 PM
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Customer of mine tried to sell me a half a cow a month or so ago and it was a little over 3$ per pound processed
Old 02-07-2018, 03:42 PM
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It ain't all steaks.

It's a lot of hamburger and roasts.

Just keep that in mind.

Ask how they're finished and what grade they are.
Old 02-07-2018, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Townado View Post
Customer of mine tried to sell me a half a cow a month or so ago and it was a little over 3$ per pound processed
I'm out of touch b/c it's been a while but that sounds cheap.
Old 02-07-2018, 03:51 PM
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The cost per lb is live weight, not the amount of meat that goes into the freezer.
Old 02-07-2018, 03:57 PM
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I'll take the tongue, the heart , liver, tripe all that good stuff, and pay you for it and pick it up.
I'll take the whole head too.
Farmers name is Scott Mc.....?
Old 02-07-2018, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by raystein View Post
The cost per lb is live weight, not the amount of meat that goes into the freezer.
When I did it, it was hanging weight.

That's why I said $3/lb processed sounded cheap.

Old 02-07-2018, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rbhankins001 View Post
It ain't all steaks.

It's a lot of hamburger and roasts.

Just keep that in mind.

Ask how they're finished and what grade they are.
Bingo! The prime cuts don't last long, just like venison
Old 02-07-2018, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rbhankins001 View Post
When I did it, it was hanging weight.

That's why I said $3/lb processed sounded cheap.

Your right it was hanging weight
Old 02-07-2018, 04:22 PM
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I hope you and family like hambuger because you'll get a ton of it, almost literally. One and only time I bought a half a beef , I had to use a wheelbarrow to make several trips from the truck to the freezer, lol. Also , Mine might of been grass fed...I ended up grinding up all the steaks into hamburger. only way I could eat it.. I gave a lot of it away.
Old 02-07-2018, 04:25 PM
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It would help if we knew what half you were getting?
Old 02-07-2018, 04:30 PM
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Last side I bought was an organic grass fed steer. Great meat, but pricing for hanging side didn’t make any sense when all was said and done. You guys know the drill with the amount of ground beef you end up with - factor that weight and price compared to buying the same thing fresh from a store and it cost more for the side than buying fresh retail.

Someone will help you out with your cut sheet, but there’s only one oxtail, liver, etc. - so if you want those things, make sure they deliver on them. I wanted the morrow bones for the pooch and only got one about 5” long - gotta check the order at pickup and ask if it isn’t there.

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