How Much Does A Cow Cost To Buy And Butcher
I used to raise beef cattle when I was a kid.
My family owned a small ranch in Northern California, and we would buy some calves every year to raise on our property. These days we live in the city, so we don’t have room to keep full-sized adult cows. We do have a small yard though, and it’s taken us just over a year to raise one calf from when it weighed about 30 lbs until the day it went off to the butcher. And now that it’s done, I thought I’d share how much it cost for us to buy and butcher a cow.
I used to raise beef cattle when I was a kid
There are many factors to take into account when you’re considering buying a cow. Take the time to consider all of them, because once you have a cow on your hands, there’s no turning back!
- How much does it cost to raise a cow?
- How much does it cost to butcher a cow?
- How much does it cost to process a cow?
- How much does it cost to transport a cow (if any)?
- What is the average selling price of beef in your area right now (this will change over time)?
These days we live in the city, so we don’t have room to keep full-sized adult cows
But, if you live in the city and have a small yard, then this might not be an option for you. However, there are other things that you can do with your backyard which will allow you to raise calves. If this is the case for you and your family then I suggest that instead of raising an entire full-sized adult cow, that it would be better to raise a calf or two. You could even get together with some friends who live nearby and help each other out by sharing the work between households.
Cows are very large animals and require lots of room to move around freely so they aren’t confined in any way during their daily lives. You may also want to consider getting some chickens or ducks as well since they can eat most waste products from cows such as hooves (which are really hard) plus manure too!
We do have a small yard though, and it’s taken us just over a year to raise one calf from when it weighed about 30 lbs
If you live in a rural area, it may be easier to raise one of these animals yourself. If not, then you can expect to pay about $1 per pound for the meat at a butcher shop (or local equivalent). However, if you want to keep your cow alive instead of butchering it immediately and eating meat from it over time (like we did), then you should budget at least $500/month for feed.
Until the day it went off to the butcher
Now that you’ve got your cow and it’s been slaughtered, what are the costs going to be? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just adding up all the parts of your cow. In fact, there will be a few additional costs:
- Butchering & Cut Processing Charges
- Transport Costs from Butchering Facility to Your Home (if applicable)
- Storage Fees for Meat in Refrigerator After Delivery (if applicable)
And now that it’s done, I thought I’d share how much it cost for us to buy and butcher a cow.
Before we continue, let’s make sure we understand what we mean when we say “buying a cow.”
When buying a cow, you are not only purchasing the live animal but also everything that comes with it. This includes:
- The butcher
- The butcher’s truck (if he/she isn’t driving their own)
- The butcher’s equipment (knives, saws) and licenses
- Butchering fees and/or hourly rate for time spent processing the animal
If you’ve been thinking about raising your own cow, I hope this post helps you figure out what it will cost to buy and butcher a cow. And if you’re not interested in buying or butchering your own cow, that’s OK too. Just know that the next time your local farmer asks “How much does a cow cost?” they might be thinking of using the meat for themselves!