Pasture Raised Beef

We are raising Aberdeen (formerly known as Lowline Angus) cattle. We have full blood and percentage cattle. The Aberdeen breed is a smaller framed animal that is known for its ability to finish well on grass with excellent flavor and tenderness. A full-blood Aberdeen will finish at around 850 pounds live weight and a half-blood at around 1100 pounds. This is compared to 1200 pounds for a typical feedlot beef.

The cattle normally spend the months of April-November on pasture and are brought into a lot for the winter. In addition to grass and hay we also feed spent grain from Full Fledged Brewing Company in Council Bluffs. We believe this allows us to retain the health benefits of a grass fed animal while also improving the tenderness and quality. Cattle are also given free-choice mineral and kelp.

HOW TO PURCHASE:

We are currently taking reservations for half/whole beef. The estimated finishing date is spring of 2021. Prices are $4.50 per pound hanging weight for a half and $4.25 per pound for a whole beef. We require a deposit of $750 half / $1500 whole. To reserve a beef please email: heath@hiddenhollowfarmiowa.com

WEIGHTS AND ESTIMATED TOTAL COSTS

Estimated cost for a whole beef (assuming 900 pounds live weight) would include: $2295 (540 pounds hanging weight x $4.25) and $540 (average $1 per pound hanging weight) for processing and packaging.

When it comes to beef weights, there are 3 different ones of which customers should be aware.  The first is “live” weight. This is what the animal weighed on the hoof, or when it was alive.  The live weight for our cattle depend on the percentage of Aberdeen genetics.

The next weight is “hanging” weight.  This is the weight that the butcher gives us after the animal has been taken back to the butcher shop to hang.   The weight difference from live to hanging is from loss of blood, head, hide, hooves, viscera, lungs and heart.  The hanging weight is usually about 60% of the live weight.  So, a 1000 lb animal would have an estimated hanging weight of 600 lbs.   This is the weight we base our per lb charges on. 

The last weight is the “final” or “take-home” weight.  This is the weight of the meat that each customer will bring home.    This weight is usually about 60-65% of the hanging weight. The weight is lost in 2 ways.  About 4% is water weight lost during the 10-14 day period that the carcass is hung (or “cured”).  Then about another 30-35% is lost during the cutting process.  This amount is variable based on 2 factors – one is the amount of fat in the meat, and the other is the cuts that a customer requests.  Higher fat means more loss. Our grass-fed beef animals tend to be lower fat, so the loss tends to be closer to 35%. Also, the more boneless cuts requested by the customer, the lower the final weight.  (Note that the lower weight doesn’t mean that you are receiving less meat – rather, you are receiving fewer bones).