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Old 01-05-2013, 11:59 AM   #1
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Where did you find your side of beef? Looking to buy half a cow....

We are looking to buy half of a cow to, obviously, freeze and use for food. If you've done this, would you recommend it? And where did you find a farmer that sells in bulk like this? TIA!!
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:15 PM   #2
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Re: Where did you find your side of beef? Looking to buy half a cow....

I would definitely recommend it! We've gotten a 1/4 cow two years in a row now (wish we could do a 1/2!) and will be ordering another 1/4 sometime in spring.

I found our farm from the local farmer's market one summer. They had a stand selling jerky and produce and had some brochures printed out about their CSA and beef and so I called them up and asked a billion and one questions. LOL

If you have a local Basics, maybe ask them who supplies their organic beef and if it's local, call them up and ask if they do smaller orders for people. Our farm has a waiting list, so if it's a popular thing in your area, be prepared to wait a month or two from the time you place your order until the ship date. (ship to the butcher, not to you)

So we order our 1/4 from the farm, they call me up when it ships to the butcher and I send the farm a check for the beef. Then I call the butcher with my tag number and make my cut order. They call me a day or two later for pickup and I pay the butcher.

When we run out of beef and have to buy grocery store beef, it's always a sad shopping day. We can definitely tell the difference. And really, it's not that expensive. We get ribs, steaks, roasts, soup bones, stew meat, ground beef, etc and the last two years it's been right around $3.25/lb.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:17 PM   #3
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Re: Where did you find your side of beef? Looking to buy half a cow....

Also, just ask around for recommendations. My husband mentioned that we were looking into it one day at work and three of his coworkers gave us other farm names that they or their family uses. They weren't local, so we ended up going with the one in town anyway, but you never know who you know locally has some ideas as well.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:18 PM   #4
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Re: Where did you find your side of beef? Looking to buy half a cow....

I use to do it. i prefer grass fed but grass fed here in Arizona is like 9 bucks a pound compared to I us to only pay around $4 so I stopped. I do however buy hormone free beef for around 4 bucks a lb. Look for a coop in your area who does this. google will be your friend?
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by igotmywings
I use to do it. i prefer grass fed but grass fed here in Arizona is like 9 bucks a pound compared to I us to only pay around $4 so I stopped. I do however buy hormone free beef for around 4 bucks a lb. Look for a coop in your area who does this. google will be your friend?
I'm in az too. Where do you buy it?
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:31 PM   #6
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Re: Where did you find your side of beef? Looking to buy half a cow....

We live in the country...tons of beef here. If you are having a hard time, try asking around at farmer's markets, health food stores, coops, etc. You could also call the nearest locker plant....they almost always have arrangements with local farmers to get you what you need.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:38 PM   #7
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Re: Where did you find your side of beef? Looking to buy half a cow....

We get ours from a local Amish farmer. We buy grass fed.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:44 PM   #8
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Go to eatwild.com and see what you find there. I would recommend purchasing a side of beef. You would be purchasing a half steer, not a half cow. Generally the farmer will sell you a particular animal, then send it to a butcher for it to be processed and frozen. What comes to you will be frozen and labeled individually, even though it all came from the same animal. Or it should be anyway.
The farmer will walk you through the cuts you can choose from, such as a rib roast or rib eye steaks or a bit of both. Do your research though, and search out cuts of meat that might be interesting to you. Also, you will need a chest freezer. They aren't super pricey though.
Our halves usually cost around 1k all said and done. Be prepared for TONS of ground beef.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:17 PM   #9
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We do this with buffalo, but only because I happened to meet a fellow homeschooling mom whose family raises buffalo. I'd ask around. Not sure how it is where you live, but here in CO there are tons of people who sell beef like this. Even here in the city!
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:25 PM   #10
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Re: Where did you find your side of beef? Looking to buy half a cow....

We're on our third cow.

The first time, FIL bought two cows from 4H kids at the county fair. He split them four ways, amongst each family.

The second time, DSD's mother asked us if we were interested in going in on a cow with them. I think it was split 3 ways but I can't recall for sure. Anyhow, that cow was her dad's. He raises beef cattle.

The third time, I just called our local locker and told them I wanted to buy a half. Holy cow, a half is a TON of meat! We've been working on it for over a year now and I'll bet we still have over 100lbs of burger downstairs.

In our neck of the woods, most cattle are grass-fed. I would still ask specifically what the animal was fed. Never make any assumptions and only buy grass-fed meat!
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