April 23, 2014

Pasture raised beef available this fall

This fall, we will have a limited number of steers available for butchering. They will be sold by the whole, half or quarter.  For those who have never purchased beef in bulk, don't worry! We'll explain it all and help you along the way.

Bulk beef is measured in three weights - live weight (how much the animal weighs while alive, also called "on the hoof"), hanging weight (the weight once killed and eviscerated), and processed weight (the actually amount of beef products you take home for your freezer).

Once a steer (castrated, male cattle) reaches a good live weight (usually around 800-1200 lbs for the type of cattle we raise), we will schedule a butchering date with the butcher.  The animal will be delivered to them, killed, cleaned and hung to age.  At this point, the butcher will call us with the hanging weight.  After aging for approximately two weeks, the steer is then cut into all the pieces you're familiar with - roasts, steaks, ground beef, etc. - then packaged and flash frozen.

About our beef
Our cattle are raised on pasture -- they eat grass.  They are never fed grains. That means no genetically modified grains (non-GMO), no soy products, no chemicals in their feed.  We do not treat our pastures with chemicals.  The pastures are fertilized by our cattle, chickens, pigs, and rabbits.  That's it.  We do not use growth hormones, steroids, or antibiotics.  As needed, we will give our cattle Chaffhaye which is a non-GMO, alfalfa hay product that is chopped and mixed with molasses and yeast to start fermentation.  Chaffhaye is like providing pre-digested fiber and nutrients to the cattle. They love it and do very well on it.  We love that it's all natural and is mimicking their own digestive process.

We believe in making sure our customers know exactly what they are purchasing. One woman shared with us that after being told her beef was grass fed and grass finished, after visiting the farm to see where they animals were raised, she then called the butcher and mentioned that the cattle were grass finished.  She was stunned when the butcher told her that every steer processed from that farm had corn in its stomach. She was lied to.  You are welcome to call our butcher once the cattle are processed and check up to be sure they are not fed grain. You have our guarantee that all the butcher will find is grass and possibly Chaffhaye.

Setting a date
Greg will determine when the steer has reached the appropriate weight and will schedule a processing date with the butcher. Once we have a date, we'll let you know.  We estimate that the steers will be ready this fall anytime from September to late November. 

We have a limited number of cattle available and will require a deposit of $250 to hold your spot.  Deposits are non-refundable.  Cash or check only.  You can mail us a check or bring it by the farm.  We will not hold a place for you until we receive the deposit.

Butcher fees
You are responsible for the butchering fees which are payable directly to the butcher. The butcher charges between $60 and $80 for a one time kill fee. Those purchasing a whole steer will pay the entire kill fee. Those purchasing a half will pay half the kill fee. Processing is $0.65 per pound hanging weight.

Calculating cost of the steer
Once the steer has been killed and eviscerated, the butcher will give us a hanging weight.  A lower live weight will yield a lower hanging weight so these are all estimates.  We are estimating a whole steer will yield 600-800 lbs hanging weight depending on the live weight. 

Whole steer $3.25/lb
Half or quarter steer $3.50/lb

A whole steer would cost $1,900 to $2,600 plus butchering fees depending on the hanging weight.  These are ESTIMATES.  We will give you the actual hanging weight once the steer has been killed.

These prices are subject to change as we get closer to butchering time. Once you pay your deposit, you are locked in at this price.

Cut list
Once we receive your deposit, we will send you the butcher's standard cut list. You are responsible for approving this cut list. If you want to change the cuts, you are responsible for any changes in the fees. Cut lists can seem intimidating but we are happy to help you choose the cuts of beef that will work best for your family.  An example of a change would be having hamburger patties patted out for you instead of receiving 1 or 2 lb packages of ground beef.  Minute steaks and fajita meat are additional examples that might cost a small bit more than the standard list.

There are three payments: deposit, cost of the steer, processing fees.  The deposit and cost of the steer are payable to Greg Mauzy.  The processing/butcher fees are payable to the butcher.  We only accept cash or check.

We will take installment payments up to the butchering date. If you want to make a monthly payment throughout the spring, summer and fall, we can apply it to the total cost of the steer at butchering. We will send you a monthly statement of your payments.

Bottom line
The two most asked questions are: How much total will it cost? and How much meat will I be taking home?

Total Cost is based on the hanging weight.  We do our best to give you examples of how much the cattle will weigh but until it has been taken to the butcher and weighed, we cannot promise a small or large steer.

The total amount of meat is usually 40-60% of the live weight.  Based on this estimate, a 1,000 lb steer could yield 400-600 lbs.  Factors that influence this range is bone density, how the meat is cut, amount of fat that is trimmed off, etc.

How to reserve a steer
Email us at skyviewfarming@yahoo.com and let us know if you want a whole, half or quarter.  We will respond and let you know what to do from there.

This is first come, first served.  Emailing us does not reserve your beef; your deposit does.


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