The cows are priced based on hanging weight-the weight of the skinned carcass minus the head and offal. The ending usable meat yield will depend on the way you have the cow butchered-the more bone-in cuts, the higher the end weight, and vice versa.
I usually figure an ending yield of about 70% of hanging weight; so a 1200 lb live weight cow becomes 600 lbs of hanging weight and yields you about 420 lbs of usable meat.
I charge $4.75/lb of hanging weight for a whole cow, $5.00 for a half cow, and $5.25 for a quarter cow. In addition to paying me for the hanging weight, you either have to butcher the cow yourself or, as is more likely, arrange to have a butcher cut it up for you. We typically have our animals butchered at the Litchfield Locker in Litchfield, and they charge $1.15/lb of hanging weight for cryovac packaged meat. So if there were a 600 lb hanging weight cow, you’d pay me $2,850 and you’d pay the Locker $690 for the butchering for a total of $3,540. You’d get about 420 lbs of meat, average price of $8.43 per pound.
A ½ cow would be 300 lb hanging weight at $5.00 or $1,500, plus $330 to the Locker for a total of $1,830. That gives about 210 lbs, or $8.71/lb.
A ¼ cow would be 150 lb hanging weight at $5.25 or $787.50, plus $165 to the Locker for a total of $952.50. That would yield about 105 lbs of meat at an average price of $9.07/lb.
The ultimate bill will obviously depend on the size of the cow being slaughtered and which type of butcher wrap you choose. The cows are typically ready for harvest between 900 and 1300 lbs.
If you would like to go ahead, please let me know. I will need a $500 deposit for a whole cow, a $250 deposit for a half cow prior to slaughter, and a $125 deposit for a quarter cow. The final balance needs to be paid to me prior to butchering.
The check should be made out to Laurel Ridge Farm 164 Wigwam Road, Litchfield, CT 06759.
I’m perfectly happy if you find another person to split a whole cow or half cow; it’s a little trickier with a quarter cow, because you have to divide the cuts yourself, and they don’t always divide equally. If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 860 567 8122.