Buffalo Hills Ranch markets live beef directly to our customers before the animal is taken to the processor. If, for example four customers want a quarter of beef, then when the beef is delivered to the processor, it has four owners. We cannot sell meat already processed. We deliver the animal to the processor the day of slaughter free of charge (within 60 miles of the ranch).
Once the beef is killed and a hanging weight is obtained, we notify the owners of the hanging weight and an invoice is sent by us. The hanging weight is the weight of the animal after the removal of the head, feet, hide, tail and internal organs (including the tongue, heart and liver). When payment is received, we notify the butcher that is OK to release the meat to the customer.
While the meat “cures” for 10 to 14 days in the cooler, the customer and processor decide how the meat is to be cut and wrapped. This includes the size of roasts, thickness of steaks, whether bones are left in roasts or cut out, the percentage of fat in the ground beef, whether the customer wants the heart, liver, tongue, tail, soup bones, etc.
When halves are split into two quarters, each quarter contains equal portions of both the front and hindquarters.
The customer is responsible for picking up the meat and paying the processor.
The current price for price for cutting and wrapping the meat at our usual butcher is $0.64/pound plus the customer’s share of the kill charge ($60.00 for whole, $30 for a half and $15.00 for a quarter) plus a small brand inspection fee (less than $2.00). We currently use Belschner Custom Meats in Amherst, NE.
The hanging weight of one of our beeves generally runs between 620 and 750 pounds. So, as an example, for an animal with a hanging weight of 650 pounds, a half beef will average 325 lbs and a quarter beef will approximate 163 pounds. The cut and wrapped portion (after bones and excess fat are removed) is approximately 70% of the hanging weight. A half beef may occupy about 7 to 8 cubic feet of freezer space.