A perspective on Kincaid Ranch beef, from Stuka, the ranch German Shepherd:
Our beef is not sold in little pieces. Instead, we sell our beef by the share: a whole, half or quarter of a steer goes to one buyer, rather than a single steak or roast. Although I tend to just eat one bone at a time, I like to think that this is nicer for the steers, too, rather than being spread all over among a bunch of people, at least a large part of them goes to one family.
The people who buy beef this way pay all the expense for a full year’s worth of beef up front. Even though it may be a big check compared to a bunch of little checks at the grocery store, if you total up the cost, it is almost always cheaper per pound than buying bits of different cows piece by piece at the grocery store. The humans must save a lot of time by buying their beef all at once! It is also much more convenient – all their beef for an entire year is stored in their own freezer. Need a roast? Just go to the freezer and take one out. No need to rush to the store last minute. Whenever I look a little sad, mom pulls out a beef bone to cheer me up.
The humans who buy a whole beef buy about 500-600 pounds of meat. I figure they must have a big family, lots of German Shepherds, or maybe they share the meat with other friends and family. Half a beef is only about 250-300 pounds, and a quarter beef is about 125 – 150 pounds. That’s a lot of food, but the average American human eats more than 200 pounds of meat per year.
These figures come from the beef’s “hanging weight,” so I’m going to tell you what that means.
“Live weight” is exactly what it sounds like, how much the steer weighs when I’m chasing it around on the ranch. After a steer is slaughtered, the head, skin, hooves and other unusable parts are removed, leaving the “hanging weight.” Most ranches price the beef in hanging weight. Once the beef has aged (usually 14 days) and been cut into individual pieces, it loses more weight. The finished pieces are called “boxed weight,” which is typically 60% of the hanging weight.
The boxed weight depends on a number of factors:
Bone-in vs. boneless – This will dramatically affect yield; the more boneless cuts that are made, the lower the yield. It will not however significantly affect the actual amount of meat you receive.
The amount of fat remaining on the meat cuts – The yield will vary based on how much surface fat the cutter leaves on the cuts.
Leanness of ground beef – If the ground beef is made very lean the yield will be less than if the ground is made with a higher percentage of fat.
I’ve been told I’m really smart, and I even do math. So, I’ll tell you how this works: If we give you a price of $7.99 per pound hanging weight, you will be told after slaughter how much your share weighs, based upon what you ordered. If you ordered a ½ beef, then you will likely have 250 to 300 pounds of beef times $7.99 per pound. This price includes the butcher fees for “cut and wrap” of your meat (other ranchers may add fees on to a lower price per pound for you to pay directly to the butcher, so it’s important to understand what your price per pound includes).
What I described above is normally what happens when you buy meat directly from the ranch. Ranchers almost always set the price based on hanging weight. This is because the actual boxed weight can vary significantly, as mentioned above, and many butchers only give the hanging weight to the ranch and not the take home weight. As producers, we look for a butcher who gives us back a good percentage of hanging weight and our particular butcher last year did a good job in this department as we averaged a bit over 60% yield on a sample of the animals that we had processed. We are expecting our butcher this coming year to do a similar job.
I think you will find it works out very favorably compared to most retailer’s prices for grass fed and finished beef. Not to mention the healthy animals and the superior taste. We hope you enjoy your Kincaid Ranch grass-fed beef as much as we do. Order now, before it’s all spoken for by clicking here!