I have posted a few times on how my family bought 1/2 of a cow a few months back, many of you have wanted more details so I thought I would share with you my very small bit of knowledge on this. I did some research online before finding a farm that we liked, and what I thought was a good price per lb. I was quoted anywhere between $3 and $6 per lb. We decided that buying meat in bulk was the right fit for us, because it was just as expensive as meat in the store, but we had the added security of knowing that our meat was Organic Grass Fed Beef from a local farm. Prices vary per area, so I can't tell you how much you should spend per lb., but here are some things to look for when looking to purchase a cow. Please note that I am no where near an expert on this, this is the first time we have done this, so please leave comments below if you are more experienced!
Many farms you can purchase a full cow, a 1/2 cow, or even a 1/4 cow. We decided on the 1/2 cow but it was a small cow so we purchased around 150 pounds of meat.
1.) The price is usually quoted on ‘hanging weight' this is the weight of the cow with the bones still in the carcass. This is not how much meat that you will be getting, so keep that in mind when you are shopping around for prices. You may have to pay an extra butchering fee, so make sure that you ask if that is included in the price per lb.
2.) The price of the meat may or may not include packaging. My sister purchased meat cheaper than I did but hers came in brown paper packages, which she had to repackage herself at an extra cost. My meat came freezer sealed and ready to be put right into the freezer. You will want to ask the farm if the price includes packaging and butchering.
My meat has which cut of meat it is on the package.
3.) Research how you want your animal cut because you should be able to get it custom cut – we opted for mostly Ground beef because that is what we eat the most of. We also got a few roasts, one Prime Rib for Christmas, plus filets, and Ribeye Steaks.
4.) Ask for the age of the cow and what it has been fed during its lifetime. Getting a cow that was 100% grass fed is standard for Natural and Organic farms, the perfect age for a cow to be butchered is around 2 years old.
You can find farms in your area here, but keep in mind that the farms that have websites and overhead expenses like a website, typically charge more for meat to cover those costs. The best bet, is to ask around to your friends if they know of any local farms that have any cows for sale.
Please let me know what I missed out on, I know there are many of you who know more about this than I do.