1. When will I get my meat?
Animals are weaned in the fall and put on feed to grow through the winter. We harvest animals in the spring, usually between April-May. You will receive your meat in May before Memorial Day – just in time for your first BBQ of the season!
2. What breed of beef am I ordering?
We raise primarily Red Angus beef cattle. Your meat will either be from animals that are purebred Red Angus, Red Angus/Charolais, or Red Angus/Hereford.
3. What’s the big difference between grass fed or grain finished?
The biggest difference you will notice is flavor. When cattle are finished on grain, they convert the carbs, fats, and proteins in their feed into marbling in their muscle. The white white flecks you will see distributed in the meat is this marbling and it is what gives meat it’s distinct flavor. Grass fed animals do not convert their forage based diet to marbling within the muscles like grain finished animals do. They will have less marbling, and therefore less flavor. In short, grain fed offers more flavor and saturated and monounstratured fats. While grass fed offers less flavor and less saturated and monounstratured fats. A grass fed animal will also yield less meat than a grain finished animal.
4. What is yield?
Yield refers to the actual amount of finished product. In this case, the finished product is packaged meat. For example, a live animal ready for harvest might weigh 1000 lbs “live weight”. Once harvested and the animal is “on the rail”, it’s carcass will weigh on average 60% of its live weight. This would mean the carcass weighs approximately 600 lbs. The meat is then further broken down into primal and retail cuts. Some cuts are deboned, others are trimmed, and the meat is finally packaged into a final product. There is more weight in this final cutting and wrapping process that is lost to dehydration as well as all the previous trimming and deboning mentioned. It is safe to generally calculate that the finished product weight of the meat will weigh approximately 60% of the carcass weight. This would result in a final yield 360 lbs of finished product.
5. Why do I have to sign a contract in order to buy meat from Dalton Cattle?
Current laws in Idaho do not permit producers to process and market beef direct to consumer or retail spaces unless the meat has been process in a certified USDA inspected facility. The cost to process cattle trough these facilities is very high. The nearest facility to Dalton Cattle is located over 2 hours distance away. By taking our animals to a local Magic Valley butcher, we are able to eliminate these high processing costs and pass the savings along to our customers. When you sign the contract to purchase meat from Dalton Cattle, you state that you are purchasing a share in a live animal, which is what the State of Idaho allows for direct to consumer marketing of beef. We appreciate your cooperation in this effort as we continue to advocate for laws that enable producers to market their products direct to consumer without rerouting our products away from qualified local butchers or their own processing facilities.