Questions?? We have answers...
How do I even go about ordering beef? Do I have to order the whole animal??
We have a few options for you to choose from - that's the beauty of custom beef!
On a whole beef, you can split it two ways, (2 halves); 3 ways (one half, and 2 quarters); or 4 ways (4 quarters). So, it is possible for one animal to feed at least four families!
What if I want to order a split side (1/4)? Do I have to have someone to split it with?
It is always easier to buy a split side with a partner in mind. However, we can pair you up with another party if you don't have one. We will work with the both of you on custom options since they will have to be identical.
If you do have someone to split with, we still ask that you both fill out a form. We will retain a copy of this order for when you need to fill your freezer again. Be sure to include their name on your order form.
How many steaks, roast and ground beef etc. do I get from a side of beef (1/2 beef)?
On a side of beef (1/2 beef) (and depending on the size of the animal) you would receive an estimated:
6 – 8 roasts (arm, chuck, rump)
30 – 32 prime steaks (T-bone, Rib-Eye, Sirloin)
The top sirloin is cut whole; you can usually get at least two steaks out of one Sirloin
14 – 16 other steaks (Sirloin Tip, tenderized Round, Flank & Skirt Steaks)
3 – 4 packages Short Ribs
1/2 a Brisket
6 – 8 packages Stew Meat
8 packages Soup Bones
40 – 50 lb of lean ground beef
Organ meats, split with other half buyer
*Keep in mind, most families find that a split side (1/4 beef) is more than sufficient for their needs, so divide these numbers in half for what you would put in your freezer.
Do you ship quarters, halves and whole beef orders?
At this time, we do not ship any beef. All orders can be picked up at our butcher (Schubert's in Millstadt, IL) or a delivery can be arranged (some fees apply).
How much freezer space to I need?
Generally speaking you can figure 30 lb. of meat per cubic foot of freezer space. For a whole custom cut beef (220 lb – 360 lb of meat) you’d need 7 – 11 cubic feet of freezer space. A side of beef (110 – 180 lb. of meat) would require 3 – 6 cubic feet, and a quarter of a beef (70 – 100 lb. of meat) you’d need only 3 – 5 cubic feet of freezer space. If you are thinking about buying a new freezer, shop around, many stores have really good specials on freezers, if you time it right. We recommend chest freezers, as they don’t waste so much cold air when you open the lid, as does an upright freezer. (cold air goes down…).
You say you dry-aged your beef for 21 days. What does that do and what does it mean?
Dry aging allows for tenderizing of the beef to occur naturally. Beef carcasses hang in a refrigerated, temperature and humidity controlled cool room for 21 days prior to cutting into portion sized packages as per your Order Form. During the dry aging period, moisture evaporates from the muscle creating a denser beef flavor and taste.
Secondly, the beef’s natural enzymes break down the fibrous, connective tissue in the muscle, tenderizing it. As moisture evaporates, the carcass shrinks, which is a cost to the farmer (us) as we pay the butcher for the cutting and wrapping based on carcass weight before shrinkage occurs. We are not willing to compromise the quality of our beef.
Before the 1980s dry aging was more common. Then it became too costly and time consuming to dry age; today, commercial beef is boxed and frozen immediately following the butchering. In some instances beef is “wet aged”, meaning the meat is stored in a plastic bag, and believe me, it is not even close to the same thing! You may find dry aged beef in select high quality steak houses and fine restaurants at a premium
Ready to experience the difference of Maple Lawn Farm beef?
Humane handling of animals is important to me. How do you handle your cattle?
It is important to us as well and we handle our cattle in a stress-free manner. Not only does it make it easier for us to be around our cattle when they are quiet and calm but stress can also affect the quality of your meat. This is a top priority for us.
We “train” the cattle not to fear us, whether we show up horseback, on our four-wheeler, in a pickup, on foot, or with a dog, by approaching in a non-threatening, quiet manner, and “reading” each cows tolerance for how close she feels comfortable with having us humans around. Over time they learn that we are not a threat to them, or their calves, and are easy to handle, move to new pastures, etc.
Can I come and see the farm and the cattle and meet you in person?
Yes, absolutely, we welcome visitors to our farm!
What about vaccinations, salt/mineral/protein supplementation and antibiotic and hormone usage?
Our cattle graze on our land 365 days of the year. For a few months during the winter when the grasses go dormant and lose the protein content that cows need to thrive and raise their calves, we provide them with an all natural protein lick and access to our fallow corn fields. During the winter months, they are also given access to hay at all times.
We take care of our cattle and want them to be in good condition when they have their calves. Throughout the year we put out a free-choice salt/mineral mix from which they will obtain what they need.
Since the mamas of our calves are of Angus descent, breeds that are inherently healthy and disease resistant, we can get by with the minimum of required vaccinations for the calves.
Antibiotics are a tool that we use infrequently, but we will use them if needed, and never on an animal intended immediately for market. If an animal is sick, we will never deprive it of the care it needs, which is why we believe in minimal antibiotic usage.
We do not use growth hormones in any of our animals.
Is your beef grass fed?
You bet! Access to grass pasture through spring, summer and fall months is absolutely essential for growing a happy and healthy herd. We are fortunate to rotationally graze three large pastures that have access to large shade trees and watering holes that double as swimming pools during the hot summer months. When the grass gives out, we make a day out of it and move the cattle (one trailer load at a time) to the new pasture.
We do offer high moisture corn to our cattle herd. In the spring/summer/fall months, it is a small ration - merely to tempt the herd up to the barn daily so we can do a quick wellness check and make sure all is well. During the winter months, they graze on fallow corn fields and are fed free choice hay and are fed a slightly higher ration of corn to combat the cold.
All of our animals that are headed to market are finished on a higher ratio high moisture corn diet, along with distillers grain to up the protein content. We do not overfeed our steers, as this does not make a desirable end product. Rather, we feed a ratio that is appropriate for their body type.
What is most important to note - everything that is fed to our cattle is grown and harvested by us. We cut and bale the hay, we plant, harvest and store the corn. Our cattle graze on grass that we maintain ourselves. And to us, the end product is something we are infinitely proud of, and we hope that you too will taste the difference.
Is your beef organic?
Our beef practices go beyond organic, but we have not sought organic certification as it is expensive – a cost we would have to pass on to the customer. Instead, we strive to keep the cost down so we can offer excellent beef at affordable prices.
What about GMO's?
GMO's seem to be the hot topic in agriculture lately. Our cattle are fed grain and hay that we raise ourselves, and all of our crops are cultivated with safety and efficacy in mind. Do we use GMO seeds? You bet. And our animals are healthy and happy, and we feed our kids the same beef that we will sell to you. If you're interested, we'd love to talk with you about the thought and care we put in to sustaining our animals.