Beef Pricing

Each beef dresses out a little differently. Please see below for specifics about pricing on beef.

What is hanging weight?

Hanging weight is the weight of the beeve after it has been field dressed but before it has been aged, cut, packaged and frozen. Another term for this is, “on the rail”

Why use the hanging measurement?

We use this weight measurement because we are not selling individual retail cuts but instead are selling by the quarter, halve, or whole animal. Each piece doesn't need to be weighed which is reflected in the lower cost compared to individual retail cuts.

How does hanging weight relate to live weight or packaged retail weight?

As a general rule on a well finished 100% grass-fed steer, the hanging weight is 60% of the live weight and the cut and packaged meat is on average about 60% of the hanging weight. Here is the math:

1100 lbs live weight x .6 = 660 lbs hanging weight x .6 = 396 lbs packaged meat weight on a whole beeve. This is a general rule. If the beeve is overly fat, the hanging weight to packaged meat yield is lower because more is trimmed off. If there isn't enough fat, the yield is also lower because there is more bone per fat / muscle.


How much on average does a whole beeve cost?

A whole beeve weighs in on average at 660 lbs hanging weight. 
660 lbs hanging weight x $3.15 / lb = $2079
Processing fee = $369.60
Total = $2448.60

On average there would be around 396 lbs of packaged meat on a whole beeve that has a hanging weight of 660 lbs. $2448.60 / 396 lbs = $6.18 / lb of packaged meat.

How much on average does a half beeve cost?

A halve beeve weighs in on average at 330 lbs hanging weight.
330 lbs hanging weight x $3.25 / lb = $1072.50
Processing fee = $184.80
Total = $1257.30

On average there would be around 198 lbs of packaged meat on a halve beeve that has a hanging weight of 330 lbs. $1257.30 / 198 lbs = $6.35 / lb of packaged meat.

How much on average does a quarter beeve cost?

A quarter beeve weighs in on average at 165 lbs hanging weight.
165 lbs hanging weight x $3.40 / lb = $561.00
Processing fee = $92.40
Total = $653.40

On average there would around 99 lbs of packaged meat on a quarter beeve that has a hanging weight of 165 lbs. $653.40 / 99 lbs= $6.60 / lb of packaged meat.


How do CVM Farm's 100% grass-fed beef prices compare to retail store prices?

The average price in the store for 100% grass-fed beef hamburger is $9 / lb and the price goes a lot higher on steaks. Just using the ground beef price to compare retail 100% grass-fed to our quarter price, $9 / lb - $6.60 / lb = $2.40 / lb savings x 99 lbs = $237.60 savings over retail price per quarter. If we would compare steak prices the number would be a lot higher. When you buy our quarters you are paying the same price for everything. In the store, the steaks are at least double the ground beef price.

Why is our meat sold only by the quarter, half and whole quantity (Custom Slaughter)?

We use a custom butchering service that comes out to the farm and harvests the animals onsite. This takes a huge amount of stress away from the animal not having to be loaded, separated from its herd, driven down the highway and witness the sights, sounds and smells of the slaughter house. For this to be legal customers must order a quarter portion of the animal. Its called the custom butcher law. We can't have the animals butchered on the farm and sell it by the piece retail. It really affects the taste and quality of the meat, not having the adrenaline and other stress hormones shortly before butchering. Besides better tasting beef the customer gets to save between 20-30% off of retail stores prices. This is a few hundred dollars on a quarter cow that you are saving if you were to buy the same 100% Grass-Fed beef cuts from the grocery store. By getting together and buying a quarter or more of meat with friends and family you save money, get better tasting meat and support a more dignified, less stressful way for animals to be butchered.

What is the Custom Exempt Slaughter? 

A custom exempt meat processor is defined in State and Federal law as a processor that does not require continuous inspection because they only process meat for the owner of the animal. The meat or poultry cannot be sold and can only be consumed by the following:

  • The owner of the animal

  • The owner’s immediate family

  • Non-paying guests

Custom processed meat and poultry must be labeled with "NOT FOR SALE". Businesses that operate under this exemption are inspected by the State Inspection Program on a regular basis. However, inspections of these operations are conducted less frequently than operations under continuous inspection. Custom exempt processors are expected to meet the same requirements for sanitation and construction as State and Federal plants must meet. 


Example of cutting instructions form from Riverside Meats



Disclaimer: The numbers provided in this FAQ are averages and will not be exactly the same for every beeve that we sell. Each animal dresses out differently and each quarter is processed to the customers request which creates differences in take home yield and processing price. For example – if you take home the broth bones, organ meat, and suet - your per pound price is lower. Most customers do not take home all of that.