“Hey, my farmer listed a 1,000 pound cow, but I only got 400 pounds of meat! What gives?”
Farmers list the weight of the animal as ready for slaughter. Typical slaughter weights vary by animal and breeds. This weight is called the live weight.
Live Weight: weight of the living animal.
After slaughter, the animal is dressed to remove unwanted parts and prepare it for processing. The weight on a butcher’s hanging scale is the hanging weight.
Hanging Weight: weight of the carcass without blood, the head, hide, hooves and inedible organs.
While hanging, additional water weight may be lost.
The butcher trims excessive fats and cuts the meats into desired cuts for ease of storage and cooking. These cuts include bone-in and boneless take-home weights.
Take-home weight: the packaged product ready for pickup.
Please consider differences in breeds, diets and weight loss between hanging and packaging and cuts received.