Currently taking reservations for Carwood Beef 1/4, 1/2, whole for summer and fall 2022. Get on the waiting list for Monthly Burger and Beef Bundles!
Currently taking reservations for Carwood Beef 1/4, 1/2, whole for summer and fall 2022. Get on the waiting list for Monthly Burger and Beef Bundles!
Cart 0

What is the average weight of a quarter or half of beef and how much does it cost?

"We'll reserve  a quarter in the spring and a half in the fall.  We'll probably do that for about the next decade or so:)" - Kevin P.
One of the first question someone asks themselves before buying a large quantity of beef is “how much beef will I get?” That question is usually followed by, “If I buy a half or quarter, what part am I getting? The front half or back half?”
 At Carwood Farm, we make it easy for you by giving you an idea of the amount of beef you’ll get for your freezer**. Of course, we can't give you an exact poundage because cows don't all weigh the same.  The “final” or “take-home” weight is the weight of the meat that you will bring home to put in your freezer.    This weight is usually about 70% of the hanging weight.  On average a quarter of beef weighs about 200 pounds (hanging weight) so the final weight, after processing, would be about 140 lbs (estimated).
During processing, this "yield loss" occurs in 2 ways.  About 4% is water weight lost during the 10-14 day period that the carcass is hung (or “cured”).  Then about another 26% is of the yield loss is fat and bones.  This amount is variable based on 2 factors – one is the amount of fat in the meat, and the other is the cuts that a customer requests.  For example, the more boneless cuts requested by the customer, the lower the final weight.  (Note that the lower weight doesn’t mean that you are receiving less meat – rather, you are receiving fewer bones).
If you decide to buy a cow from a farmer, it is good to know approximately what you’ll be taking home before you buy so you can make space in your refrigerator or freezer in advance.  
In summary, on average, take home weight is:
quarter = 140 lbs and half = 280 lbs
 Freezer space needed
**35 lbs. of beef = 1 cubic foot...So a typical quarter requires about 4 – 5 cubic feet of freezer space.
Buying a Quarter Cow:
We sell "split" quarters, which are an equal share of cuts from the front and the back of the cow, so you can get a nice variety of cuts (ground beef, steaks, roasts, etc.).  
Buying Half a Cow:
Halves are "split" as well.   A half cow includes 1/4 from the front and 1/4 from the back of the steer, so you can get a nice variety of cuts (ground beef, steaks, roasts, etc.).  

You can refer to our meat cuts guide here if you'd like some guidance on how you want your meat processed.

Cost is simple

effective 1/1/2022, quarter beef = $647 paid to Carwood Farm, LLC

effective 1/1/2022 half beef = $1244 paid to Carwood Farm, LLC

Processing is a separate charge paid to our processor.  They charge $.80/lbs. calculated using the hanging weight.  So using the average weights listed above.  You can figure your processing costs to be:

quarter processing = $160 *estimate

half processing = $300 *estimate

Add the cost for the beef and estimated cost for processing and you have your total investment.  The actual cost/lbs. (found by dividing your investment by your estimated total take home weight of 140 lbs.) will be about $5.69/lbs..  Try getting a prime cut of steak for that price anywhere else!