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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I order Reford Beef?
Our beef is sold by the half (“a side”) or whole animal. The price is $2.95/lb multiplied by the hanging weight of your order. The “hanging weight” is the weight of the carcass once the hide, head, feet and internal organs are removed. Average hanging weights of our animals per side range from 250 – 300 lbs. The amount of meat you will receive will differ from the hanging weight due to shrinkage as the meat ages and also due to the particular way you decide to have your beef cut (view beef cuts chart). 

To place an order, please contact us either by email reford@videotron.ca
or by telephone (819) 827-3594.

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What is a side of beef?  What is the “hanging weight”?
A side of beef is literally one side, or half, of a steer. Each side of beef has a rump, a round, a loin (including short loin and sirloin), the ribs, the flank, the fore and hind shanks, a shoulder (chuck), and brisket.  The “hanging weight” is the weight of the carcass once the hide, head, feet and internal organs are removed. The hanging weight of each animal will vary, so until the meat is actually hanging, we cannot tell you what the exact weight will be. On average, one of our sides usually weighs between 250 – 300 lbs. The total weight of the meat you receive will be less than the hanging weight of your side.

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What is the difference between the hanging weight and the weight of the meat I will receive for my freezer?
The weight of the meat you will receive will be less than the hanging weight of the carcass.  The percentage of difference depends on a few factors. As the meat is hung to dry age, moisture is lost and thus so is some of the weight. Our meat is hung for a minimum of 14 days. It can be aged longer on request. The greatest factor determining final weight is how the meat is cut.  Because we sell by the side, our customers are able to have their orders custom cut to their specifications. If you choose cuts with the bone in, and take stew meat, blade roasts, soup bones, and internal organs (liver, kidney, etc.), you will keep more of your side than someone who requests boneless cuts. Usually you can expect a difference of about 30% between the hanging weight and the final weight of your order, depending on how you choose to have your meat cut.

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We do not have a big family. Will a side of beef be too much meat for us?
Most of our customers buy our beef by the side and share the meat and the cost with friends, neighbours, colleagues, or other family. On occasion we are able to match customers who want meat but do not want to take a whole side, with others in the same boat. Please ask about the availability of quarters (half a side).

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If I buy Reford Beef by the side or whole, how will it be cut?
You will fill out a cut sheet and you may talk to the butcher directly to give your cutting instructions. The cut sheet shows the types of cuts that can come from each section of your animal, and you choose how you want your meat cut. You can determine the sizes you prefer for roasts, if you want bone-in or boneless, how thick you like your steaks, and how many pounds per package for ground beef and stewing meat. All our meat is wrapped and labeled with the cut of meat on each package.

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How do I pay for my meat?
You can pay for your meat with cash or a cheque, upon receipt of your order. We can split your payment into smaller installments if need be. On occasion, we may ask for a deposit before sending an animal to the butcher.

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Can I visit the farm or see the cattle before they are turned into meat?
We gladly invite customers or those thinking of becoming customers to visit the farm. You can see the animals and get a glimpse of how our beasties live, naturally grazing and frolicking in their pastures. Please call ahead or email to set up an appointment to visit.

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How is Reford Beef raised?
Reford Beef is grass fed and naturally raised, which means that the animals are allowed to live their lives as naturally as possible. The animals live outside with access to shelter when they so choose.  They eat grass and hay, which they are designed to eat, as herbivores. They do not receive any animal by-products as food, they do not receive growth hormones or antibiotics.  They live a lazy, lovely, stress-free life.  Our cattle are split into different herds, depending on their job and stage of life. We have a “mother herd,” comprised of mother cows who are either pregnant or with calves at foot. We also have a “youngster herd,” comprised of weaned calves, yearlings, and heifers too young to breed.  The beef that we sell comes from the youngster herd.  The herds are kept separate in order to manage the available pasture and to ensure that no young animals are accidentally bred. The cattle forage outdoors 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 200 acres of excellent quality grass in the spring, summer, and fall, and excellent quality hay in the winter. We make our own hay. The pastures also contain dozens of acres of cedar bush and mixed wooded areas, which the cattle use for shelter from insects and harsh weather. They have access to fresh water via water troughs and natural drinking holes. Free choice minerals and salt licks are available. The cattle receive yearly preventative veterinary attention, including deworming and vaccination. We breed and raise all the beef we sell. Our herd is closed, which means we do not buy cattle from sale barns or other farmers. The pastures and hay are fertilized using cattle and horse manure, no herbicides or pesticides are used.  Weeds are managed by using a “bush hog” cutter and by cutting and pulling them by hand. It is more labour intensive, but the results are worth it.

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When will I receive my beef order?
Once the animal has been shipped to the butcher, you can estimate between 2 – 3 weeks until you receive your order. Our beef is hung to dry age for a minimum of 14 days and can be hung longer on request.

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