Three different weights are commonly used when pricing beef:
LIVE WEIGHT—The weight of a live beef animal before slaughter. Also called “on-the-hoof weight”. Live Weight is used to either price a live animal at the sale barn or when a live animal is sold directly to a customer.
CARCASS WEIGHT—The weight after slaughter and after processing to remove inedible parts: hide, head, hooves, etc.. Also called ”hanging weight”. Slaughter and processing could reduce Live Weight by 40%.
FINISHED WEIGHT—The weight after final processing: remove excess fat; discard unusable bones; etc.. Also called “the meat you get”. Final processing could reduce Carcass Weight by 40%.
Using the above figures, a 1,100-pound Live Weight animal would have:
— a 660 pound Carcass Weight (1,100 lbs. less 40%); and
— 396 pounds of Finished Weight (660 less 40%).
Many websites quote a cost based on Carcass Weight.
For example, the cost may be quoted as $5.50 per pound of Carcass Weight. Using the example above of a 660-pound Carcass Weight, the cost would be $3,630 (660 x $5.50).
However, you would not get 660 pounds of meat. Rather, you would get the Finished Weight of 396 pounds making the price per pound of “the meat you get” $9.17 per pound ($3,630/396); not the quoted $5.50 per pound.
So, when comparing prices, always compare “apples” to “apples”. That is, compare prices per pound of Finished Weight, not a price per pound of Carcass Weight to a price per pound of Finished Weight.
HIGH SPRINGS FARM quotes a price per pound of Finished Weight, not Carcass Weight. Using the example above, we would have quoted a price of $9.17 per pound, not $5.50 per pound.