After two days of turkey, Hank and I were so ready to go pick up our beef for the year. We took the plunge this spring and bought a cow. It's been boarding at the neighbor's with his 3 cows and Hank has been going over to feed them all summer and fall. Mid November they went to the butcher and Hank picked ours up on Friday.
In the past we bought our beef from the other farm next door at a reduced price in exchange for Hank's hard work bailing hay and fixing farm equipment. This is how we live creatively on one income. Since he started his new job last fall it was very hard for him to find the time or energy to help out at the farm. Then there was the problem that they couldn't sell us the amount of meat we needed. Our family is growing and Goldie can already eat as much steak as her sisters! We felt getting our own cow was the next best option.
It is important to us that our kids know where their food comes from and that it be as healthy as possible. I'll guess that you've already heard about the benefits of pasture raised animals or grass fed beef. It seems to be getting a lot of press lately. Our cows were rotated between two pastures, given hay that was grown on the same plot of land, and also fed a little corn to fatten them up. The corn came from the farm next door, so no antibiotics were added. Do we even want to venture a guess as to what this meat would cost in a store?
Now for the numbers. I used to work in accounting, so this is my favorite part.
purchase price of cow $314
price of feed $95
kill/freeze fee $60
butcher fee $265
The hanging weight of the cow was 528 pounds which yielded us about 300 pounds of beef. Our cost per pound ends up at $2.45!
Ground beef at the grocery store here is about $2.99/lb. But, my freezer is not just full of ground beef, we have steaks, roasts, and stew meat all at that price. I'm really hoping this puts a dent in our grocery bill. Since I got pregnant and Goldie stopped existing on breastmilk, its been out of control. Not to mention, nothing makes a nesting pregnant woman happier than a full freezer! Except, having fewer groceries to carry home from the store.