Purchasing Organic Grass Fed Beef in Bulk

Ordering Big River Organic Grass Fed Beef in bulk is a great way to save some money and to receive a variety of cuts. In the “olden days” this was the way folks bought their meat: directly from the farmer and by buying a quarter, half or whole  steer. When you buy beef this way, you have the opportunity to work directly with a butcher to ensure you get exactly the kind of cuts you want. And of course, you know exactly where your beef is coming from (from us, of course!).


Our 2020 bulk beef prices are as follows

Quarter Steer: $3.75/lb

The hanging weight of a quarter is, on average, 150 pounds, meaning that you will be paying the farmer (me) ~$560
Slaughter fee = ~ $125
TOTAL = $685

Half Steer: $3.50/lb

The hanging weight of a quarter is, on average, 300 pounds, meaning that you will be paying the farmer (me) ~$1,050
Slaughter fee = ~ $250
TOTAL = $1,300
What the heck does “hanging weight” mean?

Hanging weight (also known as “on the rail”) refers to the weight of the beef as it hangs in the butcher’s cooler once the head, hide, feet, organs and blood are removed. If you think of any movie with a butcher shop scene and there are sides of beef hanging from hooks on the ceiling, that is what “on the rail” means. Since most every butcher bases the processing fees on the hanging weight, it is the most widely used measurement by direct to market farmers. Usually the hanging weight of one of our animals ends up being about 600-650 pounds (therefore a 1/4 would weigh approx 150-165 pounds).

So the “hanging weight” is the weight of your beef before it is cut up and wrapped into meal size packages. It is important to know the difference between the hanging weight and the final total weight of cut and wrapped meat you will be receiving. 

The cut and wrap yield (or package weight) refers to the actual weight of all the packages of individual cuts of meat that you will put in your freezer. When the carcass is broken down into recognizable cuts, there is some loss when cuts are deboned and fat is trimmed away. The carcass yield will also depend on the types of cuts you selected for your side (especially the amount of boneless cuts you choose). Grain finished beef tends to have a slightly lower carcass yield than grass fed due to excess fat being trimmed away. The carcass yield can vary greatly but a good average for percent cutability (carcass yield as a percentage of the hanging weight) is 75%.

We will deliver the animal to the butcher and then you will be responsible for contacting the butcher to talk about how you want your beef cut up and wrapped (don’t worry they are really helpful with helping your figure out what you want) and then picking up your meat when it is ready (which is usually 2-3 weeks after slaughter).