Beef By The Side
Frequently Asked Questions
This is a collection of common questions that we've been asked. Please let us know if you have any questions that aren't covered below.
 
1. What's "hanging weight" mean?
  Hanging weight is the weight of the beef after it’s been butchered but before it’s been sliced up. Think of it as a big piece of meat hanging in the butcher’s freezer, or if you’re a Rocky fan, think of it as a punching bag. Some of this is bone that will be removed and fat that will be trimmed. Typically, 65% of the hanging weight will end up in packages. This number includes the variety meats such as liver, heart, tongue, tripe, sweetbreads and brains. The actual weight that ends up in your packages can vary by as much as 10% or more depending on how you have your beef processed. The weight that ends up in your freezer depends on what cuts of meat you choose (boneless, like Stips and Filets or bone-in like T-bones), whether you have bones removed from your roasts, whether you have the butcher aggressively trim fat, and whether you get the variety meats. While this may seem overwhelming, please keep in mind that regardless of how you have your beef processed, you are getting the same amount of meat after the butcher starts cutting as was there before he started cutting. The only difference is the bones and fat.
 
2. What’s the difference between a quarter beef and half of a half?
  A true quarter would be either a front quarter or rear quarter, and thus certain cuts would be unavailable depending on which quarter you’re buying. A half of a half evenly divides the different cuts of meat and gives each person half of the cuts of beef from one side, so you can have your brisket and sirloin, too.
 
3. What do you mean by "All Natural"?
  There are a lot of definitions of "All Natural", so we want to be clear about what you're buying from us. For starters, our cattle never receive growth hormones. Our cattle aren't given antibiotics in their feed and are only given antibiotics when it is medically necessary to protect the health and life of the animal. None of our cattle receive antibiotics within 90 days of processing. If you have special requests regarding the feeding of your beef, let us know. We'd be happy to work with you.
 
4. How long will my beef keep in my freezer?
  Because freezing keeps food safe almost indefinitely, recommended storage times are for quality only. Our hamburger is packaged in plastic bags and the rest of our beef is wrapped in freezer paper to prevent air from reaching the meat and causing it to freezer burn. Using these packaging methods should keep your beef fresh for 6-12 months in a deep freezer. We don't recommend keeping beef for long periods of time in a refrigerator freezer that is opened frequently because of the potential for the temperature to rise above 0°. For more information about freezing food, please visit the USDA Freezing and Food Safety Fact Sheet.
 
5. Are your cattle raised in feedlots?
  Some of them are, and some aren't. Typically our cattle are kept on pasture, especially when the weather is cooperating and grass is plentiful. In these instances, most of our cattle are supplemented with a feed mixture that contains corn. (The cattle love this feed mixture.) Most of our cattle are finished in a feedlot where they have continuous access to hay, grain, and feed. Our feedlots are far different than many commercial feedlots in that they are much cleaner and aren't nearly as crowded. If you'd like to visit the farm and see for yourself, please let us know.
 
6. Can I visit the farm?
  Absolutely! We love having visitors, and you and your family can personally inspect our livestock. Please let us know you'd like to visit and we'll help you arrange a time.