Its important that your learn the ins and outs of beef before you make your first big order. Knowing your different weights measures and how they affect the overall cost of your order could save you a big headache in the long run. Most first time buyers really don’t understand the amount of beef they are actually going to be bringing home. There is a big difference between boxed weight (the weight that is actually taken home) and live weight (the weight of the animal before butchering). Another term you may here is hanging weight (dry-aging). It is important as a beefeater that you are familiar with the following information and that your not afraid to ask as many questions as possible before you spend your hard earned money.
Live Weight: This is the walking around weight of the live animal. “It doesn’t matter if its a steer, cow, calf, or heifer; if it’s alive then its called live weight”.
Hanging Weight: This is the weight of the butchered animal as it hangs in the locker to dry age. This weight does not include the head, hide, hooves, blood and innards, which have been removed.
Boxed Weight: This is the net weight of the meat you will receive that is packaged and ready for your freezer. The reduced weight here is attributed to the cutting and trimming of fat, connective tissue, bone, etc., as well as moisture lost during the dry aging process. This weight varies dependent upon the cuts of meat included and any additional package options, e.g. bones, fat and offal.
Per WSDA regulations, customers are charged by the live weight and hanging weight, not the boxed weight. It has been our experience that we will lose around 27% to 32% from hanging weight to boxed weight, though other web sites and farms indicate amounts ranging anywhere from 24-40%. It varies from producer to producer and is dependent on the animal’s individual composition, the butcher, and the cuts that are chosen. If you have any additional questions, we are more than happy to assist.