Live, Hanging, and Finished Weights

Perhaps you've heard terms like live weight, hanging weight, and finished weight and are wondering how that works and that they mean? We're going to discuss how weights are figured and learn more about the process of raising and butchering cows (and pigs!).

Live Weight: The weight of the cow when it's alive and standing, including all its components.
Live weight refers to the actual weight of a grass-fed cattle when it is alive and standing. This measurement includes everything about the animal - bones, muscles, organs, and any food or water it might be carrying in its digestive system. Live weight is commonly used in the farming industry to estimate the potential value of the animal and to track its growth over time.

Hanging Weight: The weight of the cow's carcass after slaughter and removal of inedible parts. Winters Cattle Ranch uses Hanging Weight to determine the final price of your cow or pig purchase.
After the grass-fed cattle has been slaughtered and its internal organs, head, hide, and hooves have been removed, the remaining body is known as the hanging weight. This measurement includes the bones, muscles, and fat that make up the edible portion of the animal.

Hanging weight is a crucial measurement for calculating the yield of meat that can be obtained from the animal, as it forms the basis for determining how much meat will be processed and sold.

Finished Weight: The weight of the individual cuts of meat obtained from the carcass, ready for cooking and consumption.
The finished weight, also known as the dressed weight or cut weight, represents the final weight of the grass-fed cattle's meat that is ready for consumption. It is the weight of the various cuts of meat that are typically sold to consumers, such as steaks, roasts, and ground beef. The finished weight is what you would find at the grocery store or butcher shop when purchasing beef products.

In summary, live weight is the weight of the animal when alive, hanging weight is the weight of the edible portion after slaughter, and finished weight is the weight of the meat that is ready for consumption. These different weights are important for various purposes in the cattle industry, from estimating an animal's potential value to determining the amount of meat that can be obtained from it.