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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2007
    Posts
    4,133

    Default How Much Is 500 Pounds of Processed Cow?

    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.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,204

    Default

    If you get 500lbs from it, I'm pretty sure that's a whole beef. That's ALOT of beef ;-) It would fill a normal freezer. Good luck!
    Kerri



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2006
    Posts
    445

    Default

    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.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 1999
    Location
    Ohio: Charter Member - COTH Hockey Clique & COTH Buffy Clique
    Posts
    9,143

    Default

    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).
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    16,684

    Default

    Yes, that's about one beef's finished weight after packing. That's a lot of meat and would keep a family in meat for a long time.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
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    32,716

    Default

    and fill up a good size freezer!

    that's is a pretty neat prize!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2008
    Posts
    298

    Default

    Agreed, it has to be an entire cow.

    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!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
    Posts
    4,965

    Default

    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.

    Great prize!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    41,729

    Default

    If it is too much, you can share it with others.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2007
    Posts
    4,133

    Default

    From the sounds of it, I'd definitely be sharing with others. Early Christmas presents, maybe give some to the homeless kitchen in the city, plenty still for me.

    IF I win.

    Agreed on hamburgers. I love open-air-grilled hamburgers. They just taste better that way.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2008
    Posts
    298

    Default

    Yes to the hambugers. Do not pay to have them pre pattied for you. There are still 2 full boxes floating around from last year and I continue to thaw and patty myself.

    Seriously, not the same! Nothing like a burger on the grill pattied yourself !



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    16,684

    Default

    If the meat is vacuum sealed, it will keep for several years frozen with no problems.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2011
    Location
    Its not nowhere, but you can see it from here
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    3,957

    Default

    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.
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2007
    Location
    Spring Grove, PA
    Posts
    850

    Default

    I would say 500 lbs processed is a bit more than a half. If live weight is approx 1500, you would have approx 50% of that in processed meat, based on my experience.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 1999
    Location
    Ohio: Charter Member - COTH Hockey Clique & COTH Buffy Clique
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    9,143

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperAlter View Post
    It would be nearly impossible to eat an entire cow in one year unless your feeding 8 people!
    Family of 5 on a strict diet... we went through 1/4 cow in about 2.5 months. LOL
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 1999
    Location
    Ohio: Charter Member - COTH Hockey Clique & COTH Buffy Clique
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    9,143

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dressagetraks View Post
    From the sounds of it, I'd definitely be sharing with others. Early Christmas presents, maybe give some to the homeless kitchen in the city, plenty still for me.
    I have used steaks and roasts as Thank Yous for friends who've helped me. Things like stack hay, fix fencing, etc. Almost like a barter, but they didn't ask for payment so it was more of a "tip".
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    2,190

    Default

    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.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2005
    Location
    Elmwood, Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,373

    Default

    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
    top prize.
    Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
    Elmwood, Wisconsin



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    5,463

    Default

    We used up a 1400 lb steer and two overweight 4H hogs in a year; could do it in 9 months now that young son is a 15 year old.

    Rustbreeches, was that a dairy steer you butchered or do you have a line on beef steers? wondering b/c we may have milk cow steers this year and I'm hoping for more than soup bones.



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