Help me with conversion here. I have zero experience converting cows into packaged pounds into x burgers, xx T-bones, etc.
Sign in the local farm store today in a nearby TINY town (population can't possibly be 1000, I doubt 500). Their volunteer fire department is having a fundraiser Saturday night. Spaghetti dinner, auction of donated stuff, and 3 raffle prizes. Buy your dinner/raffle ticket there.
Prize #1: A donation from XYZ local cattle farm of a cow, estimated at approximately 500 pounds worth of meat. You pick it up at the butcher, no processing costs associated.
Prize #2: A Mossberg rifle.
Prize #3: $100.
I'm thinking of going. I have an awful track record at raffles, but it's a small town. And hey, I'd get a spaghetti dinner anyway for my ticket and help the fire department. But eying prize #1, which is what caught my eye the most, how much exactly is that? So many burgers worth? So many steaks? A freezer full? Half a freezer full? I'm trying to fit it into a frame of reference I know, because I have no idea what 500 pounds of processed cow equates to in terms of food. Food/cooking has never been my forte (although the chance at free food gets my attention!). It sounds like a very nice prize.
That will probably be about a cow. My parents buy a whole cow and then give each of us kids a 1/4 for Christmas, and that fills up about 1/4 of my little deep freezer. My freezer is probably about 4 foot wide, 3 foot long, and 3 foot deep. The meat comes in the form of hamburgers, steaks, roasts, organ meats, etc. My parents live in a tiny town and it's actually quite a common raffle prize. Good luck, and if you win, enjoy! It's usually really great tasting meat, and local!
And how many people are you planning to feed with it? Growing up, my grandparents would give my parents 1/2 a cow, and it would feed a family of 5 all year.
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I just made appointments for my 2 boys for "Freezer Camp" with the local custom butcher. Last year, "Stewie" weighed in at 900-something live weight and we got almost 400 pounds of meat (and stuff... since I also kept liver, heart, kidneys, etc.). Current base price is 58 cents per dressed weight pound. They offer extras like vacuum sealing steaks (which I GLADLY pay extra for) as well as processing hamburger into patties instead of 1 pound rolls (not worth it imho).
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It is very hard to say how much meat you will get because it depends on how they butcher it. Be prepared for ALOT of hamburger. Which isnt a bad thing! I prefer it because Im not a huge fan of roasts and steaks are an occasional thing, but I can do alot with hamburger!
I think of it like this, you can only get so many steaks and roasts from one cow. If you do mostly steaks and roasts you wont have as much hamburger. Although, an entire cow will give you plenty anyway no matter how you cut it or butcher it.
Beef keeps for a year, so if you can pay for vacuum packing, I would encourage it. Especially if your a small family. It would be nearly impossible to eat an entire cow in one year unless your feeding 8 people!
I bought a side of beef this year (HALF a cow) and it was about 270lbs - big cow - in terms of volume it was 5 cardboard boxes which were 2-foot cubes and weighed 60lbs each - the last box was only half full. It filled 2/3 of my 13cubic foot freezer.
Poor hubby just had to find space in our freezers for 890 lbs of beef that was ready while I was out of town. I asked if that was the hang weight or the finish weight, it was finish. It was really hard to get a butcher date at our fave place, so the free martin was 6 months past what we had anticipated. If you can arrange to NOT get some of the odd, fattier roasts, and have them done as burger or stew meat, do it. This is actually the first time I have ever gotten the premade patties, but I'm due in June, so I got 25lbs of them out of the 300# of burger we had so I can just quickly throw them on the grill this summer, or in a skillet with some onions or something. Get the sealed plastic if you can. It costs a bit more than butcher paper, but well worth it
Oh, and we butcher one beef and two hogs a year for a family of 4, one of whom doesn't eat red meat. But I cook 3 meals a day, often for friends, employees, family, etc.
We just butchered our second steer in Nov. He was 1300 pounds before we butchered him and he almost filled a mid sized ( 5 ft long) chest freezer. We cut and wrap our own using tape and freezer paper and it keeps for 2 years with no problems.
We have local butchers in each little town in my area. The
butcher shops will not only process a cow (or pig or lamb)
for you, they will also store meat in their freezer and allow
you to pick up reasonable quantities to bring home at
intervals. That might be helpful should the OP win the