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Old 06-02-2012, 12:42 PM   #1
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Buying a 1/4 or 1/2 cow?

Has anyone done this before? I am looking into some local grass fed beef places, and I am not sure what I am looking for. There are probably 2 or 3 in a reasonable driving distance from my house. I figure I can call around on Monday. I probably just missed the spring season for getting beef, but maybe I can be put on a list for the next time. My mom and sister said they would buy with me if we needed to buy a minimum and it was too much for just me.

Any advice welcome.

I just found an Amish Meat Pkg company close by too and it was actually the place my mom bought all our meat growing up. It is all Amish raised animals and processed minimally. I am going on Tuesday to check out prices.

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Old 06-02-2012, 01:01 PM   #2
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Re: Buying a 1/4 or 1/2 cow?

I would make sure they are still grass fed beef, people assume that the Amish raise things a certain way and it''s not always true. Maybe even ask to come see their cattle. From the place we get grass fed beef, they charge a per lb price and a processing fee per lb, they say that a half cow is 225-275 lb carcass weight and 1/4 is 113-138 lbs. I don't know how the break down of cuts works.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:10 PM   #3
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Re: Buying a 1/4 or 1/2 cow?

I would add to ask for a "cut list". They should be able to provide for you a list of approx. amounts of cuts available with their 1/4 and 1/2 cow purchases. You have some choice in terms of size of ground beef packaging, and it should give you an idea of what cuts of meat you will get for your money. I also always ask for the bones (for stock, etc) and they usually only give these to you if you ask for them. Also, check your freezer space. A 1/2 cow takes up a bit of room so be prepared.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:35 PM   #4
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Re: Buying a 1/4 or 1/2 cow?

Thanks, those are good questions to ask. I recently gave dh the "go ahead" to hunt this year after a ban I put on him when we started dating at 16. He is so excited and the first thing he said was that we need a deep freezer. So we are looking into more freezer space before deer season.
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:23 PM   #5
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Re: Buying a 1/4 or 1/2 cow?

Learn all the terms used in the cuts before you call the farm. I was completely lost when I ordered mine because there are SOO many terms! We ended up not getting beef ribs because they were part of another cut. That was a bit sad for us. So learn about the cuts and how you would want all of them. Also if you think you would use tallow, make sure to ask for that and any organs. We are about to order another side and our current side has lasted us about 15-16 months when all is said and done.

Word of caution, purchasing like this is addictive! We now have a side of pig too!
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:17 PM   #6
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Re: Buying a 1/4 or 1/2 cow?

Good idea. It is sad to say I only cook using ground beef, rarely stew meat and like a bottom round something or other. I am going to have to call and get some information before I can even talk about what I want.

I need to find a place for chicken now. I finally lost my fear of cooking chicken on the bone.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:47 PM   #7
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Re: Buying a 1/4 or 1/2 cow?

We've gotten 1/4 before, and I told the processor that I was new to it. So he was extremely kind in explaining pretty much everything for me! All in all, a great deal for us, especially with meat prices rising now.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:26 PM   #8
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Re: Buying a 1/4 or 1/2 cow?

I know this thread is a little old but I am new to the forum. While I know little about raising kids (I'm pregnant with my first) I do know about buying a side of beef since I am a rancher so I thought I might chime in.

The process can be quite complicated at first and I am more than happy to help if you have any questions. My post count is too low to post a link to a guide I wrote about how to buy a side of beef in seven easy lessons but if you google "how to buy a side of beef step by step", it should be the first hit.

I'm also happy to explain any cuts you don't recognize and provide cooking tips.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:41 AM   #9
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Re: Buying a 1/4 or 1/2 cow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nvidaoc View Post
I know this thread is a little old but I am new to the forum. While I know little about raising kids (I'm pregnant with my first) I do know about buying a side of beef since I am a rancher so I thought I might chime in.

The process can be quite complicated at first and I am more than happy to help if you have any questions. My post count is too low to post a link to a guide I wrote about how to buy a side of beef in seven easy lessons but if you google "how to buy a side of beef step by step", it should be the first hit.

I'm also happy to explain any cuts you don't recognize and provide cooking tips.
Wow thanks! That looks helpful!

Here is the link for anyone wanting it. http://ranchsteady.blogspot.com/p/ho...p-by-step.html

Do you have one like that for a lamb and a pig too? I know I could use that!
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:59 AM   #10
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Re: Buying a 1/4 or 1/2 cow?

Thanks for posting the link!

I don't have a posted guide for pork or lamb. The process is mostly the same and I would be happy to help with explaining cut options, especially for pork though I have some experience with lamb too.
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