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Unveiling the Mystery of Hanging vs. Packaged Weight

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Understanding Hanging Weight vs. Packaged Weight for Beef Shares

If you’re considering purchasing a beef share in bulk, you may have come across the terms “hanging weight” and “packaged weight.” But what do they mean, and why is there a difference? Let’s break it down.

When purchasing an eighth, quarter, half, or whole beef, the cost is calculated based on the hanging weight. However, there are actually three weights to be aware of:

Live Weight: This is how much the cow weighs when it’s alive, similar to how we weigh ourselves. Simple enough!

Hanging Weight: After the animal is slaughtered, the blood is drained, and the head, hide, feet, entrails, and organs are removed, this is the remaining weight – typically around 60% of the live weight. For example, if a cow weighs 1000 lbs live weight, its hanging weight would be roughly 600 lbs.

Packaged Weight (or Take-Home Weight): This is the weight of the final packaged meat you’ll take home after processing, aging, and trimming – usually 60-65% of the hanging weight due to water loss during aging and bone removal.

So why use hanging weight? It provides the most consistent way to measure the carcass before customizing cuts. The butcher also uses this weight to calculate processing fees, which are included in what you pay for a beef share.

The packaged weight tends to be lower not because you’re receiving less meat but because you’re receiving fewer bones if you request more boneless cuts. Requesting extras like marrow bones can help retain some of that weight.

While this is a general guide, weights can vary between animals and butchering styles. The most important thing is that when you purchase a beef share, you’re getting an incredible value on premium, locally-raised beef while supporting sustainable agriculture.

We hope this breakdown helps explain the hanging weight vs. packaged weight distinction. As always, feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!