Distribution of Retail Cuts in Dairy Kids

Carol Delaney, former Small Ruminant Dairy Specialist, Univ. of Vermont

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Raising dairy bucklings for the purpose of clearing and fertilizing land gives a by-product of meat for the freezer.  The brush and trees were already fenced in and 7 bucklings inhabited this 1-2 acre area from September 14 until the first one was harvested on October 30th (the other 6 were done on November 18 th and 25 th). He was the largest of the June born males (I was told June) weighing in
at 78 pounds live weight at slaughter.
After home slaughtering and dressing, this was the breakdown of that buck yielded (he was not fasted and had a full belly in the evening)

Live weight (78 lbs)
dig. track
LBS% of livewt
lung&heart 1.365 1.75
liver 2.335 2.99
head&feet 8.2 10.51
shoulder 1.525 1.96
neck 3.01 3.86
shoulder blades 1.805 2.31
back, bone in 3.215 4.12
shoulder roast 1.82 2.33
loins 1.16 1.49
racks 2.88 3.69
chunks 2.31 2.96
chunks 0.64 0.82
fore shanks 1.74 2.23
hind shanks 1.935 2.48
leg roast 2.7 3.46
leg roast 2.4 3.08
bones 3.215 4.12
fat 1.885 2.42
pelt 5 6.41
Misc 4.26 5.46
TOTAL 78lbs 100%
 Adding up the usable portions, thus excluding organs, fat, external parts and bones, gave about 25 lbs of cuts. The cost of raising this buck was calculated by pro-rating the expenses at the time of slaughter by the live weight portion yield of all bucks; this buck was 17.33 % of all the live weight yield of the 7 bucklings. For this animal, the input cost was almost $100 not including labor or any infrastructure. The purchase price of $1/lb live weight was included in this figure, too. So, these cuts are worth at least $4 per pound ($100/25lbs.). If the buck had been sent to a slaughterhouse and $65 paid for kill, cut and package, this would have added about $2.50 per pound for a final of $6.50 per pound just to cover the input costs (oops, forgot trucking). To account for labor, we can add about $1/day for the 45 days it was managed or $45.  This would add $1.80 per pound or round it up to $2 per pound for a total of $8.50 per pound of usable cuts from this buck to be profitable, if it were to be sold.

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