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Live weight: This is what the animal weighs alive.
Hanging Weight: This refers to the weight of the beef animal after it has been slaughtered and field dressed (hide, head, and internal organs removed).
Butchered Weight: This is the net weight of the meat you will receive that is packaged and ready for your freezer. The reduced weight here is attributed to the cutting and trimming of fat, connective tissue, bone, etc., as well as moisture lost during the dry aging process.
When purchasing a 1/4 beef, you don’t get a specific 1/4 of the animal but instead you will get a 1/4 of the total beef. This ensures you get all the cuts of steaks, roasts, and burger.
As a general rule on a well finished steer, the hanging weight is 60-65% of the live weight and the cut and packaged meat is on average about 60-65% of the hanging weight. So a live weight steer @ 1200 lbs will have a hanging weight of 720-780 lbs and should result in 468-507 lbs of beef in your freezer.
This size freezer we recommend:
Quarter beef is 6-7 cu ft.
Half beef is 9-12 cu ft
Whole beef is 17-21 cu ft
This should accommodate your beef but if you store other items in your freezer it might be a good idea to get the next size up.
The picture below is a half beef in a 17 cu ft standup freezer. It is very organized and still room for other items as well.