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Buying a whole animal in England. If knowledgable on the process GTHIH!!

Commented on March 26, 2014
Created March 25, 2014 at 7:07 PM

I am looking to buy a whole animal and a deep freeze in the next few months and being based in the North of England my choices were pretty limited. I have found one place that seems very reliable, seals whole animals, selections, bone and fat sources and raw milk. It is all grass fed and the owners are paleo themselves

http://www.greenpasturefarms.co.uk

Now for a cow the prices are a bit out of my range:

Whole Cow in 10 Deliveries: ??2000.00

Half Cow in 5 Deliveries: ??1050.00

1 x 10th Cow Box: ??255.00

but the lambs and pigs are both cheaper and smaller, allowing easier storage:

A whole grass fed Texel lamb costs ??135 pounds

and the choice for a pastured pig is :

Whole Pig: ??250.00 Half Pig: ??135.00

A whole pig weighs 60kg with 40kg being meat and offal.

I was wondering how expensive this is compared to what other people who buy whole animals pay and I was also hoping for some advice concerning deep freeze options.

Lastly I have been looking through their FAQ trying to find any hidden bullpoo lots of people commenting on various other companies hd complained that they found out after purchase of things in their meat they would not had purchased if they had known. Anyone who sees anything problematic for paleo in the faq below please let me know.

A: Most of our beef is from Aberdeen Angus Cattle, though we do also supply some Longhorn Beef from time to time. Keep an eye on our news items or sign up to our email newsletter or twitter feed for more details.

Both these breeds are selected as they do particularly well on a grass based diet, producing tender, succulent nicely marbled meat, without the need for supplemental feed made from grains or soy.

Our lamb comes from Texel sheep. Like our beef, this breed is selected as it is a traditional breed that produces tasty, flavoursome, succulent meat from hill grazing alone.

All our pork is from native rare breeds - These include Middle Whites, Gloucester Old Spots and Oxford Sandy Blacks. Using these traditional varieties and raising them naturally produces pork that actually tastes like pork! It also works wonders for our speciality sausages and home cured bacon.

A: All of our beef and lamb is 100% grass fed. In the winter they receive supplemental feed in the form of haylage and/or silage.

Pork and chicken cannot be grass fed, as they are not ruminants. Our pork and chicken is all 100% free range however, and allowed to forage for their natural diet.

The chickens receive supplemental feed which accounts for around 40% of their calorie intake, this is a mix of barley, wheat, corn and soy (all non GMO). Birds have evolved to eat grain, it is a natural part of their diet, and depriving them of it would be inhumane.

Our pigs receive a varied diet, predominantly comprised of "reject" vegetables and hay, plus whatever they forage. They also eat some grain and soy as they again would forage for this naturally in the wild, but it is by no means a staple part of their diet.

Our meat is not certified as organic, as we felt it would increase the cost of production unnecessarily.

We can assure you however, that our meat is raised to the highest standards, without the use of pesticides, chemical fertilisers or antibiotics.

They are allowed to roam freely - With far more space than legally required to be classed as free range.

They are also all fed a natural diet - Much organic meat is fed a diet of organic corn and soy!

The use of hormones in livestock is illegal in the UK - and we wouldn't use them even if they weren't!

We do not add any antibiotics to the feed of our animals, and would never use them on a healthy animal.

The only circumstance they would be used would be ff an animal were to become sick, and a vet deemed short term administration necessary to prevent the suffering of the animal/risk of spread of the infection.

A: No, our bacon does not contain nitrites, nor any other artificial flavourings or preservatives.

Our bacon is cured for 20-25 days using a traditional recipe made from salt, a small amount of brown sugar, and saltpetre.

Saltpetre contains nitrate, but a serving of our bacon would contain considerably less nitrate than a serving of broccoli, and there have been no negative health effects demonstrated from its consumption.

A: All our sausages and burgers are made with free range pastured meat allowed to forage for their natural diet.

Our sausage skins are made from the intestines of our free range pigs.

We use a small amount of gluten free sausage burger mix to hold the mince together, the ingredients of which are listed below:

Tomato and Basil

Rice Flour, Salt, Dried Tomato, Herb, Dextrose, Spices, Onion Powder, Leek Powder, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavouring, Spice Extracts.

Pork and Sage

Rice Flour, Salt, Dextrose, Spices, Onion Powder, Leek Powder, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavouring, Spice Extracts.

Burgers

Rice Flour, Salt, Dextrose, Spices, Onion Powder, Leek Powder, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavouring, Spice Extracts.

A: All our Grass Fed Beef is hung for a minimum of 4 weeks (28 days), anywhere up to 7 weeks (49 days) to allow its full flavour to develop and mature.

A: All of our animals are taken to slaughter at local abattoirs (less than 10 miles) by our own farmers in small wagons, and never mixed with other animals. We do everything we can to ensure the process is as stress free as possible.

None of our meat is Halal.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on March 26, 2014
at 06:56 PM

there you go.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on March 26, 2014
at 05:34 PM

Don't be stingy with those upvotes :-).

A6b302171ad297933107ec7e6abadf39

on March 26, 2014
at 12:47 AM

Thank you! Very informative. I appreciate the reply.

A6b302171ad297933107ec7e6abadf39

on March 25, 2014
at 10:38 PM

Those prices are the full price, delivery, the wrapping of the meat etc is all included in the prices, no added fees.

They have no information on the age of the animals however I have just sent them an email about it.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on March 25, 2014
at 09:59 PM

how old is the steer, or how much carcass? butchering fees? answer these and then I will give you a longer answer.

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4 Answers

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0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on March 26, 2014
at 12:41 AM

Going to answer today because tomorrow I will be busy. Probably the steer is 2 years old, with the carcass averaging 600 kg, or 400 kg of meat,not including offal (give or take a few). Butcher costs are covered I see.

This November I bought one steer, 36 chickens, and 2 turkeys for $2943 in Ohio. Butcher fees were about $350, included in the 2943. This meat is split unequally between 4 families. I always buy at the end of the growing season to maximize nutrient content. I have a large freezer of course. I get all the offal, all the marrow bones, and plenty of broth bones for everyone. I get all the fat, to make tallow, and I would love to get cheeks and brains, but it is illegal here.

I have bought half or a whole cow since 2006. IME, what matters most is the rains (in the UK, you may be all set). The same guy will give you great meat in a rainy year and not so great in a dry one. The breed matters less. When it is dry I buy in the Michigan thumb which is a lot rainier than Ohio. Otherwise, I buy all the meat from the same guy. I always had excellent half cows, just mediocre samples (say, a 10 kg trial bag), again due to drought.

You have discovered that pig is the cheapest of red meats and that is in agreement with what I find. I bought a whole pig (about 100kg) in 2011 and it was great eating. I think your pig is getting more veggies than my pig, which was getting only grains. soy and grass. Pork quality is not sensitive to drought. Absolutely get the lard and all offal. I have bought smaller bags of pork here and there.

I bought only two lambs and one goat in my life because the butcher fees tend to be per animal, and so it is expensive meat. It is also difficult to produce steaks and my taste is moving more and more towards rare, large pieces of meat. Goat liver is the best of the livers I tried.

From what I see I would buy from your guy. The interest in buying whole is that you spend less, and basically get bones for free (pig and goat bones also make good stock). In the old days I could also get all offal for free, but not anymore.

A6b302171ad297933107ec7e6abadf39

on March 26, 2014
at 12:47 AM

Thank you! Very informative. I appreciate the reply.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on March 26, 2014
at 02:03 PM

Nice points by ULH. I avoid the whole problem by buying at the end of the season. A steer that was fed only grass (and salt lick) in the last 6 months is grass fed, as its whole body has completely turned over. But I do make sure it gets salt, because here the soil is devoid of I and Se (and deficient in Zn). In the UK it should be easier to feed only hay to a steer in winter, because it is a lot warmer than here.

You might buy a 10 kg bag before committing to a whole steer, just to make sure (I mentioned indirectly in my previous post). Grass fed meat is visually different from regular meat, and as ULH says, taste and texture differ too.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on March 26, 2014
at 05:34 PM

Don't be stingy with those upvotes :-).

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on March 26, 2014
at 01:31 PM

Not totally sure what your question(s) is/are but I can tell you my experience. A couple of years ago I bought a half steer from a farm here in Virginia. I found them by looking at the suppliers for a local high-end butcher shop and called them directly, and they were willing to sell a half steer minimum.

The price came out to about $6.50/lb butchered, frozen, packaged, and delivered and it came out to about 220 pounds of meat. In my area cheap ground beef is maybe $4-5/lb, higher quality sirloin is maybe $10/lb, and fancy cuts can be a lot higher than that. I considered this to be a good, not great, deal, but the quality of the meat was better than anything I've had before or since and so well worth it.

Before ordering I talked to the farmer for about 45 minutes about how he raises the cattle. This is a pretty complex topic and not as simple as "grass fed" or not, "grain fed" or not, "free range" or not, as there are a million shades of gray. Almost all cattle, even those claimed to be grass fed, are not 100% grass fed, for the simple reason that grass doesn't grow copiously year round and the cattle are about 2 years old when slaughtered. The farmer could store hay or otherwise provide some form of grass feed year round, but it's simply way easier and cheaper to use grain occasionally, both for ease of feeding and because the animals gain weight faster on grain. Labeling laws in the US are a bit fuzzy and "grass fed" doesn't really have a strict definition. You'll also hear terms like "grass fed and grain finished" or "grass fed with access to grain" and I am sure that lots of farmers will claim that their cattle are "grass fed" even if they only eat one mouthful of grass, just so they can tap into that market. I have heard that this is all much simpler and more straightforward in the UK so you might not have so many problems there.

I would also be wary of producers that claim their animals are 100% grass fed but the meat is just as tender and marbled as grain-fed. Grass-fed animals tend to be leaner, with tougher muscle, and a gamier flavor. Grain-fed animals tend to be fattier, with paler and more tender muscles, and a mild flavor. Most people prefer the flavor of grain-fed meat even if grass-fed is better for you, and so most farmers are biased towards feeding their animals grain since there is more market for that.

I am an "everything but the moo" eater and so we got the offal. I had the brains ground into the ground meat (legal here), which made the meat delicious but pretty fatty. Of the approx 220 pounds of meat I had about 40-45 pounds of it ground. If I were to do this again I would have had more of the cheaper cuts ground, I like pot roast but it's challenging to use 20 pounds of pot roast and eye round. Given that the ground meat we got was a bit high in fat and we had too many lean cuts I would include the round meat in with the ground. There are obviously numerous uses for ground meat. The butcher should be able to give you a list of what primals go into which cuts.

Have fun!

0
A6b302171ad297933107ec7e6abadf39

on March 25, 2014
at 08:39 PM

Anyone ?

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on March 25, 2014
at 09:59 PM

how old is the steer, or how much carcass? butchering fees? answer these and then I will give you a longer answer.

Answer Question


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