Our Bison Meat is a Healthy Choice
All of our animals are pasture-raised, certified animal welfare approved, Certified grass-fed, and grass finished without any antibiotics or hormones, ever.
Why buy in bulk?
Bulk bison meat is available in the form of a whole or one-half portions by advanced special order. By arrangements, special bulk packages may also be arranged such as quarter portions. The benefits to buying in bulk include:
- Access: Having a half or full portion of bison in your freezer makes it easy to decide what's for dinner. You have a huge choice of healthy meat options just a few feet away from your kitchen.
- Variety: You have a choice in how your meat is cut and processed. You can decide on the thickness of your steaks and whether you want your roasts to be small, medium or large in size. Additionally, soup bones, tongue and organ meats (heart, liver, etc.) are part of the bison carcass and are included in a bulk purchase. If buying the animal rather than the meat, you also get the hide and the skull if you want them.
- Lower Cost: If you are interested in a variety of cuts, buying in bulk is the most economical option.
Some people hesitate to buy bulk bison because they think it will be too much meat. If a full or half a bison seems like too much, consider splitting it with family or friends.
We offer several approaches and opportunities to purchase bulk bison including:
- Purchase a Market-Ready Live Animal
This is the easiest, most cost efficient, and convenient method of buying bulk bison meat. You come to the farm, purchase a 24-30 month old market ready animal, and we transport it to the processing plant of your choosing at no cost. You get to choose when, where, and how it gets processed. All you need to do is pick up the meat from the processor.
The cost of a market animal will range between $2800-$3200 depending on their size. We provide you with 30-days to make processing arrangements after purchase. If you need more time, we will care for your animal at a cost of $75 per month, or part thereof, payable at the beginning of each month.
- Purchase the Meat from a Whole Animal
This is similar to purchasing a whole animal, except that you will be purchasing the meat from that animal. Because we are selling you the meat rather than an animal, there are certain regulations that must be followed including where the animal is processed and the need to have it federally inspected. You will however be able to select your own cuts and choose how you want the animal processed in addition to being able to keep all organ meats, hides, skulls, etc., should you choose.
Whole carcass prices are calculated using the hanging weight of the bison multiplied by your price-per-pound, plus the processing fee. The hanging weight is the weight of the carcass once the skin, head, non-usable organs and hooves have been removed. Prices are set at current market value of grass-fed bison carcasses at $9.55 hanging hot weight which includes transportation to the slaughter house (Cypress Valley Meat Processing in Pottsville, AR ), $35.00 killing fee, $0.65 per pound hanging hot weight for processing, $0.10 per pound labeling fees, approximately $0.60 per pound hanging hot weight for USDA inspection, and transportation back to the farm or directly to you (depending on location). This comes out to be less than the average cost for the variety of cuts that you will receive. As an example, an 800# live animal would end up costing about $3500.00 in total costs.
- Purchase a half Carcass
You can also purchase a half carcass at the same price as the whole animal above. In this case we would just have a carcass split in half with one half going to you. You will not, however, be able to dictate how your half of the animal will be processed; it will be processed based on our standard methods and you would not be entitled to the organ meats, hide, skull, etc. (although we may make accommodations should you desire same).
Alternately, as before, consider splitting a whole animal or carcass with a neighbor, relative, or friend - this is the most economical approach.
- Purchase a young animal
For those unable or unwilling to purchase a market ready animal or full carcass, we offer the ability to purchase a young calf and have us raise it for you. This arrangement works as follows:
- Purchase a young calf at market value ($1800-$2500 depending on age and sex)
- Pay a monthly maintenance fee of $75.00 per month for its care
- We will provide for your animal, including but not limited to feed and veterinary care
- When the animal is at market weight, or when designated by you, we will transport the animal to the processing plant for you.
- You instruct the processing plant how you want your animal processed and you pick up the meat when ready
- Purchase a young calf at market value ($1800-$2500 depending on age and sex)
- Buying a quarter
We do not sell quarters. The simple reason is the difference in meat quality between quarters (the hind quarter has all the primal cuts) makes pricing difficult. However, if you are interested in purchasing the equivalent of a quarter bison (75 or more pounds of meat), special pricing can be negotiated and arranged.
Should I have my bison USDA inspected?
If you purchase a live animal from us for slaughter, there is no real advantage to having your bison federally inspected. USDA inspection is only required if you intend to sell meat as a retail product.
When should I order?
We recommend that you reserve your animal early in the season or we may be out of stock for the year. Our regular customers, restaurants and groceries, take precedence. Whole animals are sold on a first-come basis. Remember that this takes time and we can't just whip another one up for you on the spot. Make your arrangements as early as possible.
How should I order?
You first need to contact us. We recommend that you visit our farm in person to make your arrangements to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding.
When can I get my meat?
We generally only harvest animals during the months of August or September, thus it is important to reserve your bison early to insure we have sufficient meat and/or animals to accommodate you. Although we will slaughter animals at other times of the year by special order, we find August-September to be the best time to harvest grass-fed and finished animals after they have been feeding on nutritious lush green pasture for several months.
Where and when can I get my animal slaughtered?
The only USDA licensed plant is Cypress Valley Meat Processing in Pottsville, AR. If you do not need your meat USDA inspected then we can take it anywhere. However, bison are large wild animals and not all processing plants can or will handle these animals. Because of the difficulties in dealing with these animals, you cannot usually just take them to a processing plant as you would a domestic steer; you generally need to make special arrangements in advance. Again, plan early
How much meat can I expect from a whole bison?The hanging hot weight is what is left after you remove the parts that are inedible like the hide, feet, head, some of the bones and most of the innards. The dressing percentage for most bison is about 56%, lower than beef because of their heavy hide and head. Most grass-fed bison will weigh between 750 and 1100 pounds at 25-30 months of age (grain fed animals will weight more).
As an example, a 25-30 month bison weighing 800 lbs. would "dress out" or have a hanging hot weight of about 448 lbs (800 x 0.56). Of that hanging hot weight, you take home the finished cuts or "yield" which is generally 50% to 60% of the hanging hot weight (because of the lean meat, bison have a higher yield than beef). Thus, from that 800 lb animal you should get about 280-320 lbs cut and packaged for your freezer. This will vary depending on how you want your meat processed; for example, boneless would have a lower yield than bone-in cuts. All meat is cryovac sealed for safe and extended freezer time to protect meat from freezer burn.
Bison are processed and cut a little different than beef for a variety of reasons. Bison have an extra rib and you cannot get a hump roast off a beef cow. From the processed meat, about 17% will be steaks, 55% will be ground bison, 25% will be roasts (which can also be ground stew meat if roasts are not desired), and 3% will be other (short ribs and ox tail). See Bison Cuts Chart
If you choose standard processing and cuts, you can expect to get approximately the following cuts and quantities (Halves would get proportionately less of the below amounts):
- Tenderloin steaks – approx. 5-7 lbs.
- Strip loin steaks – approx. 15-18 lbs.
- Rib loin steaks – approx. 15-18 lbs.
- Sirloin Steaks – approx. 15-20 lbs.
- Chuck Roast – approx. 35-45 lbs.
- Brisket – approx. 3-4 lbs.
- Back and Short Ribs – approx. 14-16 lbs.
- Stew Meat – approx. 20 lbs.
- Ground Burger – approx. 120-140 lbs.
- Patties – approx. 120-140 lbs.
This will require approximately 8-10 cu. ft. of freezer space