finding, buying and slaughtering a steer????

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by hatwoman22, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. hatwoman22

    hatwoman22 Well-Known Member

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    All right so want I is a half a steer all wrapped up in fresh white paper every type of cut I can get overflowing from my upright deep freeze.

    Now i'm in Arizona, i'm from back east cattle their do no to my knowledge run that much, but I never checked before so that is what I need to know from some of you experienced folks out their.

    This was the price I was quoted this morning: 2.20$ a lb live weight of the steer. Thats the price from the rancher, grass fed beef, the one she's got ready in the time frame I want had a few antibiotics about a year ago. To me not a big deal otherwise all grass fed, weened off mamma at the right time not early ect... He's about a 1000 lbs right now.

    How's that for a price???

    How does that compare, should I keep looking?

    Now the processing fees dont seem to bad, its a 50.00$ slaughter fee for which I would be charged half. and .57 cents per lb for the rest, to be cut and wrapped, hung and even frozen if we so wish.

    So does that sound about right to some of you folks out there???

    It would be about 310 lbs at .57 cents and that would be hanging weight. How much meat would come out of that?? I worked that out to about 4.19$ per lb, but I know it wouldnt be 310 lbs of meat once its fully processed and wrapped.

    The grant total for this whole venture would be about 1300.00$ about twice what I was originally figuring, but then i'm from back east and hubby is from up north so our prices are biased from that. There are only two of us, and the rancher said that that much meat would go for about a year.

    Does that sound right???

    Thanks for any help, i'm kinda clueless. I just hate going to the grocery store and seeing the price of beef, and not having any of it be any good anyway once you get it home!
     
  2. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I looked into this a year or more ago. I looked up eatwild.com and found a local rancher, which still would have been quite a drive for me and the price was given per pound - no processing fee involved. I'd like to say it was around $4lb or more.

    Now, I can't afford that so I kept looking. I found a 500lb calf that someone was selling and paid a dollar a pound for it - and they delivered it to me instead of to the auction. Then I fed it some more and took it in to the processor myself. Much cheaper that way.

    I'm raising my own for next year - and hopefully trading for a ready to go steer this year. If you keep your eyes open - I would think you could find something for around $1 to $1.30 lb live weight, and have it delivered to the processor directly, if you don't have the room/facility to keep it yourself. Then you pay a reasonable price for live weight, and then the processing fee. If you find someone to sell a side to - your costs are cut in half all the way around. You shouldn't have any trouble finding someone to do that - I've had people begging me - I can think of three off the top of my head. I live in Arizona too.

    Niki
     

  3. hatwoman22

    hatwoman22 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, where in Arizona are you? I'm down five minutes from mexico! The biggest city that i'm close to is Tucson, Auctions do you know of any??? For further clarification im in cochise county, this to me is the middle of the desert!

    The phone book that i have is not any use what so ever, well unless I want to sell my own personal estate, which I dont have anyway!

    I"m trying to do this reasonably! I really really want my deep freeze full of beef!

    I looked online for a list of auctions and called the phone numbers of about three different old ladies none of whom where at all happy with me! And NO they didnt know the number of the auction!

    My next move is some of the local ranchers, unfortunately my hubby has the car! So I cant go knocking on doors of likely looking places until sometime next week. I called the local feed store after I made that post and was told about the same price of a dollar per lb. live weight.

    So 2.20 per lb is doubled what is should be, now it will just be finding a local rancher who happens to have a likely steer they are willing to part with at a reasonable price. I might get a hold of you for one of those three people you mentioned to half a steer with! Thats if I cant find a local, I dont know too many people who would be able to come up with that type of money right off the bat soo.

    Although now that I think of it, putting up a flyer in the local feed store about what i'm after might be better then knocking on doors univited!
     
  4. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Wow! $2.20 a pound liveweight!!! A similar steer locally (TN) would likely sell for $.80 liveweight and the seller would likely be pleased to get it. You could drive to likely TX or MO, buy a steer and haul it home in a horse trailer for well less than the $1,400 difference.

    Being in AZ I wonder just how 'grass fed' it is. Likely it was just raised on whatever it could scrounge off of its pasturage.

    The average retail supermarket price for beef has hovered around $2.65 pounds (all cuts from prime to burger) for a fair number of years. It is difficult to raise and process your own for that price. And, when it comes down to it, there likely won't be any significant difference between what you get in the supermarket and what you will get off of that steer.

    But then you likely have a supply and demand driven price there.
     
  5. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Heather, if you’re driving through Tennessee any time soon....Well, I have a 99%organically raised steer @ 1500 pounds just dying to visit the slaughterhouse. I know it's far fetched but I would only charge you $1.60 a pound live weight....That includes, transporting him, kill fee, vacuum sealing, freezing, the whole shooting match....Monterey, Tennessee

    Anyone else looking for some good clean beef just let me know...halves or whole.
     
  6. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    At the top of this forum open the List of Sticky Threads and look at the one on cuts of beef.

    For a 1,000 pound steel you would expect to get about 465 pounds of retail cuts, with lots of hamburger. Of those only about 75 will be steaks. Some roasts, some stew meat and lots of hamburger. Thus, half would yield you about 232 pounds for your freezer, with maybe 35 of steak grade.

    Now the above is likely a good beef breed. In AZ you might end up with something like a Texas Longhorn of long and lanky rather than short and fat.

    I would say the above offer is outstanding. You can pretty well ramp up from 1,000 to 1,500 on the pounds of freezer beef - about 700 pounds. So half would be about 350. (Corrected: This isn't correct, see below - And you would only be paying about 60% of typical retail (excluding your transportation costs)). You can likely specify thickness of steaks and the amount of beef per package (e.g., a family of two would likely go for half the package amount of a family of four). If you like fatty hamburger a butcher likely has extra fat available from other carcasses they can mix in.

    (Added: If you end up with 700 pounds of beef from a 1,500 liveweight at $1.60 per, you would pay about $3.43 for all cuts vs some $2.65 at the supermarket. However, knowing what you are getting should be worth a premium. Also, you might find two others and each takes 1/4th of all cuts.)

    How to haul? Can you borrow a large chest freezer for the back of a pickup? If frozen at pick up and the freezer weren't open enroute it should stay frozen for a couple of days.

    Beware of Tennesse though. Once you've seen it you won't want to leave.
     
  7. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    Hatwoman22 - I'm not familiar with Tucson auctions either. I have a friend I could ask, but she's not easy to get ahold of. I would definitely put up a flyer at all the feedstores that you know about. The only auction I know about is Pacific Livestock Auction in Chandler. Wednesday is their cattle day, with hundreds of head going through from about 1pm until they are done, usually early evening. They sometimes have a few cows/calves on Saturday, late in the afternoon also, but that's iffy.

    Ken, I don't know anywhere near as much about cattle as you do - but most of the cattle around here aren't Texas Longhorns. The ranchers raise the same types of beef cows as everywhere else. Most raise angus, herefords, or some mix of the two. The ranches I spoke to through eatwild.com raised their cattle on range - and there IS grass in this state. They 'finished' the steers on irrigated pasture with mixed grasses and legumes.


    Niki
     
  8. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Heather, Ken the last Holstein steer I took to the slaughterhouse weighed in @ a live weight of 915 pounds and a dressed weight of 540 simple math shows a dressing percentage of 59%....That's alot of beef!!! Just wanted send some more good info....Heather you can't imagine the taste difference in homestead raised beef verses store bought whatever.....John
     
  9. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Ken, thanks for the excellent explaination,,,Again thanks
     
  10. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    I stand corrected on the cattle breeds and forages of AZ.

    Please note I referred to 'retail cuts', not hanging weight. From hanging weight you lose bone, fat and trimming waste. It isn't necessary what hangs but what goes into the freezer.
     
  11. chicamarun

    chicamarun Well-Known Member

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    I would check around - but that is about the same price we sold our steers for (Angus Steers - grass fed through finish) but we are in VA. Ours were lighter weight also - but there was SUCH a difference in the meat it shocked me (our 1st year on the farm).

    We had purchased 2 steers to raise up - our goal was to stock our freezer and sell the rest (pretty much to cover our cost) but we sold both steers without a problem.

    I think our processing was a little cheaper (37¢ per pound and the kill was $40). But other than that - it came to about $5/pound after processing (really rough estimate) - and that included roasts and steak.... and at the grocery store last week I saw some steak for $15/pound. So I think it evens itself out and the taste is a lot better.

    One thing to note about grass-fed to finish is that since there isn't as much fat/marbling on the steaks they cook quicker. But you pay for meat vs paying for fat.
     
  12. hatwoman22

    hatwoman22 Well-Known Member

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    Wow thanks for all the replies!!
    I'm not headed to tennesse anytime soon, but I'll mention that to my mom who is moving from Goergia to michigan in a few days with an empty chest freezer in the back of the pick up, she might just jump at that!

    The lady who gave me the price called me back, I told her that was a bit too high for us right now and she said that she had been at an auction and was trying to quote prices off the top of her head.

    And so she messed up! She has a half hanging in the slaughter yard already, and will charge me 2.20 per lb on that! ! ! Shes calling the slaughter house now to get a rough estimate on weight of whats hanging, so I'll know the totale price once she calls me back.

    But I think we are going to go after that, hubby can have a problem with the 600-700 dollars all he wants, but thats a years worth of meat at 2.20 a lb you cant find that in the store on sale for double that price!

    So thats 2.20 per lb cut and wrapped, I dont have to pay the processing fee. I think that sounds a lot better! Let me know if i"m wrong!

    I'd about given up hope, I talkd to another friend who knows a lot of the ranchers he thought he could get me a really good deal on one, but none of his buddies have any left that arent out on the range and no good for slaughter right now. I missed the ones they hauled to slaughter by about three weeks. Darn.!

    Yee haa I just hope whats hanging isnt 500 lbs or better, that would be the same 1000$ I was looking at in her original quote.

    For two average people will half a steer really go that long?
     
  13. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Some terms:

    Liveweight is on the hoof.

    Hanging weight is after the head, hide, guts, organs, etc. has been removed from the carcass. Remember Rocky where he was using a side of beef for a punching bag. That was hanging weight. A general rule of thumb is for cattle hanging weight should be about 60% of liveweight. Varies some by breed, such as a Holstein likely won't produce the same hanging weight of an Angus.

    Next term is somewhat subjective, so I'll use dressed weight. It is the hanging carcass after it has been prepared into 'retail cuts' - essentially from steaks to hamburger. There will be a weight loss from deboning and the cutting off of excess fat. Here a general rule of thumb is 45-47% of livesweight. A kicker is some folks want the bones for pets and some like excess fat ground up with the burger. Sometimes the heart and tongue are ground up with the regular hamburger. Here breed doesn't have as much of a difference as between liveweight and hanging weight.

    Thus, if they took in a 1,000 pound steer each side should weigh roughly 300 pounds. When cut and wrapped you should end up with about 235 pounds of beef from each side. For how that should end up as particular cuts and quantity see the sticky thread mentioned earlier.

    To find your cost per pound simply divide your payment by the weight of the packaged beef.

    As a comparison to supermarket you can roughly use $2.65 per pound. Sometimes more, some times less depending on the supply of and demand for cattle as beef.

    On comparison of the quality of beef between breeds and between supermarket and homeground, well, those are other matters.
     
  14. hatwoman22

    hatwoman22 Well-Known Member

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    hanging weight for this guy was 548 lbs, half of that is 274, although she told me 292 for some reason I think her math is off.

    Based on what Ken said I think we should get about 220 lbs of meat off of that. Give or take, roughly.. Correct me if i'm wrong I stink at math!

    So at 2.20 lb it comes to 602.80 Dollars, divided by 220 lbs.....equals 2.74 cents per lb.

    And I know for a fact that I cant get any type of beef in the super market out here for less than that, and can only find that on sale if at all.

    How long will that much beef last two average people? Just a guesstamint? Nothing exact of course, Just trying to make absolutely certain that this is the best way to go rather then trying to find sales at supermarkets each month?
     
  15. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I'm so glad you found a side of beef - that's wonderful!

    How long? Well, that really depends on how much meat you consume. Way back before I had children, dh and I bought a side of beef - a holstein I believe. It lasted at least a year, maybe months longer. With three growing boys - it doesn't last near as long!

    Niki
     
  16. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    If she told you $2.20 for hanging weight, then you also have too add on the processing charges, which it sounds like you may have to pay direct to the processor. I apologize I didn't make that clear above.
     
  17. hatwoman22

    hatwoman22 Well-Known Member

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    No she pays processing fee, I pay only 2.20 per lb for the half thats hanging that will include the cut and wrap.

    Shes calling me either tonight or tomorrow morning with a list of what the butcher can get: cuts ect.
     
  18. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Also asking about aging time in the freezer. I would recommend at least two weeks, three wouldn't hurt.

    Likely you can just tell the butcher to give you standard cuts packaged for X number of people. If you like your steaks thick, then they need to know that also.