Common Questions When Buying A Whole Calf - Half Calf

Common Questions When Buying A Whole Calf

May 13, 2024Kameron Haecker
We understand buying a whole calf can be a bit intimidating if you haven't bought one before or its your first time buying from us. I will answer a few common questions with this post to help you make your decision, but always feel free to call or send an email and I am happy to answer any specific questions you may have. 


What is the difference in a Cow vs a Calf?

While a lot of people use the term buying a whole cow to define buying beef in bulk you are actually buying a fat calf or finished calf that will be around 2 years old. If you were to truly buy a whole cow chances are you wouldn't be back. Once an animal is considered a cow after having had calves they will  typically take on tougher and leaner carcass traits and there end destination becomes hamburger meat or cheaper cuts at value stores. We do not sell cows as meat through Half Calf.

How much freezer space will I need?

Our Original Whole Calf will fill up a large chest freezer or upright freezer. Between 15-21cu foot is what we recommend. They will average around 455lbs of packaged beef. We tend to recommend a larger freezer so you have room to find things and not just have a packed full freezer.

How do I get it back to my freezer?

A common worry is how do I transport all of this beef? The good news is it travels pretty well in the back of most vehicles with the seats up . All of our meat will be boxed and frozen. We can load the boxes into a vehicle and we have customers that take it all across Texas with no issue. We can also pack it into ice chests on the back of a truck if you prefer that. We do not recommend putting the boxes directly into a truck bed as the moving air from driving will thaw the meat pretty rapidly. 

What is the hanging weight and why do you charge based on it?

The hanging weight is the weight of the carcass on the rail after the animal has been bled, skinned, and the organs/head are removed. An example would be as follows a live calf that weighs around 1000lbs live will have a hanging weight around 60% of the live weight. This would make your hanging weight 600lbs. We price based on the hanging weight because it is the most consistent weight we have and the ranch and the butcher are paid based on this weight. 

Why is there a drop from hanging weight to boxed weight?

Just like the above example you will have parts removed in the fabrication process. A hanging weight of 600lbs will yield around 60-65% of the hanging weight as boxed cuts. If you have more boneless cuts your percentage may drop vs if you decide to keep fat and bones it may go even higher. This is why we price on the more consistent hanging weight. 

What cuts do I get?

Its your choice! With a whole calf you get to choose your cuts. We recommend getting cuts you commonly cook with. For some people that will mean more roasts and steaks for others it will be steaks and ground beef. There is no wrong way to cut them. The only challenge is there is only a limited number of each cut. Unfortunately we cannot cut the entire animal into ribeye steaks.

What if I don't think I can handle a whole calf?

That's no problem we also have halves, quarters, and smaller 35lb,15lb, and 10lb boxes. We try to have something for everyone! Halves can still be custom cut while the other options will come with 1" steaks and 2" roasts. 

How long is the wait? 

We butcher every two weeks. We try to keep the lead time between 4-6weeks based on when you order. Once butchered the beef hangs for a minimum of 14days for aging then we will cut, package, and freeze it. After this we reach out to arrange meet ups or pick up. 

Whole calves can be ordered here: 

Thank you for taking the time to read this if you have any questions on ordering from us please don't hesitate to email or call!

Kameron Haecker


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