How Much Beef Is In A Quarter Of A Cow?

If you’re buying beef from a local farmer you’ll need to know how many pounds are in a quarter of beef, so you can make room in the freezer!

Buying a cow from the farmer is a great way to save money, stock up and get high-quality Beef!

We’ve been buying half to a whole beef every year for the last 3 years, it’s so much better than what you get at the grocery store, so I will be buying directly from the farmer for the next decade at least!

The first time we bought beef direct from the farmer I was definitely wondering what to expect… My main question was, “how much beef will I get?” I had 1 big deep freezer but wasn’t sure if that was going to be enough!

If you ask your farmer, they will tell you that beef cows go to the butcher when they reach the between the weight of 1400 to 1600 pounds of live weight for the whole animal

That means a half beef is about 700-800 pounds of live weight, and a quarter of cow is 350 – 400 pounds of live weight

Take-home weight is only a percentage of the beef carcass weight

After the cow does its head hide and organs are removed from the carcass (this takes many pounds off from live weight)

You can keep the heart, liver, tongue (or any part) if you want, but make sure to let the butcher know that you want them

The average carcass weight of a hanging cow is about 800 pounds average hanging weight of the animal (give or take) The hanging weight price depends on the live weight of the cow, and the farmers’ price

Then, during the final butchering process (which they’ll customize to your cutting instructions) they cut out the weight of most bones, hide, head, and hoofs… (I always ask the butcher to keep some good bones for our dog )

That is a lot of weight removed for parts of the cow that you don’t want

I cut down our final meat weight on top of all that by asking my butcher to cut my roasts and steaks lean by removing excess outside or exterior fat

I buy “natural cows” that aren’t treated with hormones or antibiotics so I ask for the soup bones too because they are healthy and make such good broth!

How Many Pounds in a Quarter of Beef

Ordering a quarter beef (or quarter cow) usually yields about 150 pounds (give or take) of wrapped beef to go into your freezer

Pounds in a Side of Beef (Half Beef)

When you order a half cow from your local farmer and have it butchered, you can expect to bring home about 300 pounds of beef (give or take) to put up in the freezer!

Pounds Of Meat In A Whole Cow

When you buy a whole cow from the farmer and have it butchered

You can expect to bring home about 600 pounds of meat (give or take) to put into your freezer

Freezer Space for Pounds in a Quarter of Beef

How much freezer space will you need?

For every 35 pounds of meat, you will need about 1 cubic foot of freezer space

So a quarter of beef will require 4–6 cubic feet of freezer space

So a quarter cow would take up about half of a large upright deep freezer

Why Buy Beef From The Farmer?

There is more than one reason why you should buy your beef from the farmer!

I LOVE buying beef directly from our local rancher Y-1 Farms!

(I have their info at the bottom of this page) They either grow all their alfalfa and feed for the cows or source their feed from local farmers to get the highest quality fresh feed for their cows!

Local Farmers will have better quality beef from what you get at the grocery store because it will be fresher, most likely finished better so it will have more marbling! )

You know how your local farmer treats their cattle… Local Farmers raise cows in a healthier pasture environment to graze on and grow

You have no idea how the beef you buy at a grocery store was raised or what conditions were

These local farmers will have the best cared-for cows that are grass fed beef no matter how they are finished

Grain-finished cows have more marbling which is (what makes the beef taste so good), but grass-fed beef and grass-finished cows have healthier fat )

You may think this isn’t true at first, but if you consider the high quality and prime cuts of beef you get when buying a whole, half, or quarter of beef you realize that you are getting the best of the best!

Filet Mignon beef cut,

T-Bone steaks

Rib Steaks

Plus all the hamburger… Not just the standard cut beef at the grocery store

That’s a lot of high-quality prime cuts of meat for the same price per pound as hamburger!

Choosing A Butcher & Cutting Instructions

Ask your local butchers how they process and wrap the beef

I Like the way they cut to my instructions, double wrap meat in plastic that is airtight with all air removed

The airless double-wrapped meat stays good for 2 years in our deep freezer

I didn’t like these at all as the meat was prone to freezer burn

Make sure to be clear on what cuts you want or don’t want

What size (in pounds) packages do you want them to wrap hamburger?

(I get hamburger wrapped in a 1-pound package, but it depends on how many people you are feeding on a regular basis )

How many pounds do you want your roasts to be?

How thick to cut your steaks and individual cuts?

Tell them if you want to keep fat for making Tallow

Tell them if you want the tongue, heart, or liver

I hope this helps answer your questions about buying beef from the farmer!

Fall Apart Sirloin Tip Roast

Smoked Beef Brisket

My Local Farmer – Where I Buy Beef

Y-1 Farms Beef

Are you thinking about buying a quarter, half, or whole beef?

If so, you might be wondering exactly how much beef is in a share…

a quarter cow meat in freezer

How many pounds of beef are in a quarter cow?

A quarter cow (or beef) typically has 100 to 150 pounds of actual take home meat

The meat is a mix of ground meat, ribs, steak, liver, and more depending on choice and availability

This weight is about a third of the hanging meat

https://wwwyoutubecom/watch?v=RkV1j8p8FNUVideo can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: WE GOT A QUARTER COW…EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW!

Buying a whole, half, quarter, or whatever- quantity animal is almost always a better deal than buying meat piece and parcel at the grocery store

Not only do you save time, hassle, and energy by purchasing the entire animal at once, but more often than not, local farmers will even package the meat for you

All you need to do is free up storage space in your freezer

It’s not possible for everybody to buy a whole or partial animal, but for my family, it makes a lot of sense

There are some considerations you need to make, but by and large it’s a great way to feed your family for a year or more

When I first told my sister that we had a quarter of a cow in the freezer she wondered how we managed to get the meat off the bone when we wanted it

She imagined it like one huge hunk of meat, literally one-fourth of the cow like what you’d see hanging in the butcher’s freezer

I explained that it comes nicely packaged by the pound, similar to what you buy in the store

How Much Should a ¼ Beef Cost?

As more people move to the local food and grass-fed movement, I’m noticing more people asking me this question

Once or twice a year, we buy a bulk order of beef from a local farmer

When you get in on an order, they typically require you to buy at least a quarter of a cow

Sometimes they’ll charge you less per pound if you can buy a whole half of a cow, but you’d need an entire chest freezer to store that amount of meat

A friend of ours just sent one of his steers to butcher, so our freezer is now nicely stocked with 1/4 of a cow

100% organic, grass-fed beef, just the way we like it

The total came up to $405, for cut and packaged meat

Tips for Buying A Quarter of a Cow…

When you first decide to buy a quarter of a cow, make sure you understand the conditions of your purchase first

Farmers butcher cows at different weights and sizes, and butchers process the meat in different ways as well

Some farmers will advertise their meat by selling it as “live weight,” or “hanging weight,” while others only tell you exactly how much meat you will be taking home

Hanging weight, also known as dressed weight or carcass weight, is the cow after all of the inedible parts have been removed

This includes the hide, feet, head, bones, etc

If you are talking to a farmer and he is selling you a 1000-pound cow, keep in mind you won’t get 1000 pounds of meat

Bones, Blood, Organ Meats, etc

It’s important to decide in advance whether you want to keep all the animal byproducts, as this can make a difference in your purchase

Live weight usually includes pieces of the animal like bones, blood, and organ meats

It might also include things like oxtail, tongue, soup bones, and other offal

Make sure you specify in the cutting instructions what you do and do not want to keep

Keep in mind that while you can’t really eat bones or blood (obviously), they are a great way to amend your garden and serve a variety of other roles as well

I personally love to make bone broth, so I definitely was not going to pass up the bones when I got my share of the cow!

Therefore, if you are resourceful and willing to experiment, it’s not a bad idea to take the entire cow instead of just the meat

Farmers and butchers are often quite grateful for this, too, as it means they don’t have to pay to dispose of the byproducts

You also need to decide if you want bone-in versus boneless

This is often the case if you are only buying a portion of the cow, like a quarter, instead of the whole cow

A farmer is not going to provide his customers with a million different options in most cases, because this is a huge hassle for him and for the butcher

If you’re purchasing grass-fed beef, there is hopefully very little fat

Now, when you’re working with the local farmer, he will also likely factor in processing costs

Decide ahead of time whether you want to select these options, because while it can add a few dollars to the meat’s overall cost, if you think you might have a difficult time figuring out recipes with some of your cow, it’s better than having the meat go to waste

When you purchase a quarter of a cow, you’re often “going in” with other people

Some farmers don’t split the cow for you but will just sell an entire cow, so it’s up to you to sell the other portions

If this is the case, MAKE SURE the other people are solid in their commitment to buying the meat

If you tell the farmer you plan to buy the animal, he plans on having it cut, wrapped, and ready to go at the agreed-upon time – and he is expecting payment

This can go towards the deposit you pay to the farmer (if he charges one) and also helps take some of the anxiety out of relying on other people

If you already know a farmer and plan to utilize his services, that’s great

This way, you can see the animal every time you drive by!

Make sure you also budget out plenty of money ahead of time to pay for the meat

Save more than what you think you might spend, as the farmer has very little control over the exact final weight of the animal

But on the flip side, you’re paying per pound, so you can expect to have to shell out a little more money

Before you can pick up your meat, the farmer will often give you the date when your parcel is going to the meat processor or butcher

He will either get your instructions for how you want it cut then or ahead of time

Keep in mind that the smaller your cow share is, the less autonomy you will have in how the meat is cut

The beef generally dry-ages in a climate-controlled cooler for around a week before it’s cut

This helps tenderize the meat

Then, it takes another few days to cut, package, and freeze the meat

Of course, total cut weight depends upon the cow as their sizes do vary, but this quarter was about 101 lbs

What Does a Quarter of a Cow Look Like

If you’ve ever wondered how much meat is a quarter of a cow, and what you can expect to get, this is what was included in our order of a quarter beef:

26 pounds of ground beef

24 steaks (including sirloin steak, skirt steak, prime rib, sirloin tip steaks, rib steaks, T-bone steaks, ribeye steaks, NY strip steaks, flank steak, etc)

11 roasts (rump roast, sirloin tip roast, chuck roast, etc)

beef bones for making broth

beef liver

I’ve decided that I really want to start serving my family organ meat pretty regularly, as it’s super good for you when it comes from organic, grass-fed animals

I advise you to take as many different cuts of beef as possible

While some cuts are easier to prepare and serve like tenderloins or porterhouse steaks, for example, each cut has its own unique flavor, texture, and purpose

Generally speaking, butchers will try to split the cuts so there are a variety of options available

You might get chuck or arm roasts, briskets, ribs, round roasts, and steaks

Most steaks will include a variety of cuts, like strip, Delmonico, sirloin, flank, skirt, T-bone, porterhouse, or filet mignon

These cuts are obviously dependent on the size of the cow, distribution of the purchase, and genetic makeup of the individual cow

Anyways, in case you’ve ever wondered, that’s what a quarter of a cow looks like!

I love being able to stock up on great quality meat at a great price

You can really reduce your overall grocery bill, with most meat costing $3 or $4 a pound for organic, grass-fed meat – this is roughly half the price at least of what you would spend on the same quality meat at the grocery store

Plus, if you’re buying from a local farmer, you know exactly how it was raised and slaughtered

Know the Difference Between Cut Weight and Hanging Weight

If you are thinking about buying beef in bulk like this, you should know the difference between cut weight and hanging weight, so you know how much you can expect to pay in total

Some farmers tell you the price per pound before processing, which ends up being much more once it has been cut and packaged

Before you buy, you should also consider your freezer space

Generally speaking, you need about one cubic foot of space for every fifteen to twenty pounds of meat

While you might be able to fit a quarter of a cow in the freezer space provided in a refrigerator/freezer combination unit, keep in mind that you won’t have a ton of room for a whole lot else!

Most farmers will require you to do your research and make your decision well ahead of time

You will usually need to place your order at least three to six months (often longer, depending on the size, scale, operations, and regulations of the farm!) before you actually receive it

This is because the farmer needs to budget out feed and butcher costs, as well as reserve an animal for slaughter for you and your family

You will also need to pick up and transport the meat yourself, so be sure to account for weather conditions and the size and conditions of your vehicle when you are making this decision

How Much Freezer Space Do You Need for a Quarter of a Cow?

While the amount of space you’ll need will vary depending on the size of your freezer and the size of the quarters, a good rule of thumb is to plan on roughly 1 cubic foot of freezer space for every 15-20 pounds of meat

So, for example, if you purchase a quarter of a cow that weighs 400 pounds, you’ll need approximately 20-25 cubic feet of freezer space

Ultimately, though, the amount of space you’ll need will depend on the size of your freezer and how you plan to package the meat

If you plan to package the meat in individual portions, you’ll need even less space

For example, if you wrapped one pound of ground beef in plastic wrap and then placed it in a zip-top bag, it would take up less than one cubic foot of space

Some people argue that buying meat in bulk like this isn’t the greatest investment because you’re not supposed to freeze meat for more than a few months

Is buying a quarter cow a good deal?

For those who want to get the most bang for their buck, buying half a cow is a great option

Not only will you get a lot of meat for your money, but you’ll also get to choose what cuts you want

And because you’re buying directly from the farmer, you’ll know that the beef is fresh and of high quality

How many lbs of beef is a ¼ cow?

A quarter cow typically weighs between 250 and 350 pounds

The exact weight will depend on the age, breed, and weight of the cow when it was slaughteredA quarter cow can provide approximately 160 pounds of boneless, trimmed meat

This includes all of the major cuts of beef, such as steaks, roasts, and ground beef

However, it does not include the weight of the bones or fat

How long will half a cow feed a family of 4?

Depending on the size of the family, and how much meat they consume, half a cow can last anywhere from a few months to over a year

Do you buy meat in bulk from a local farmer?

What types of meat do you stock your freezer with?

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