What Is Hanging Weight?

Are you curious to know what is hanging weight? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about hanging weight in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is hanging weight?

The meat industry is a complex network of processes and measurements, and one term that often surfaces in this context is “hanging weight.” But what does it mean, and why is it crucial in the meat industry? In this blog, we will explore the concept of hanging weight, its significance, and how it plays a pivotal role in the production and sale of meat products.

What Is Hanging Weight?

Hanging weight, also known as dressed weight, is a term used to describe the weight of a slaughtered animal after it has been dressed, which means it has been skinned, gutted, and had its head and hooves removed. Essentially, it represents the weight of the animal’s carcass as it hangs in a cold storage area before further processing.

The Significance Of Hanging Weight

Hanging weight is a vital measurement in the meat industry for several reasons:

  1. Pricing: It forms the basis for pricing and valuing meat. When meat is bought and sold, the price is often determined based on its hanging weight.
  2. Yield: Hanging weight is a key factor in assessing the yield of meat that can be obtained from a slaughtered animal. It influences the quantity and quality of meat cuts produced.
  3. Consistency: Hanging weight provides a standardized reference point, ensuring consistency in pricing and product quality across the industry.
  4. Processing: Meat processors and butchers use hanging weight to plan further processing, such as cutting, packaging, and distribution. It helps them allocate resources efficiently.

Understanding The Relationship With Live Weight

Hanging weight is closely related to the live weight of an animal, which is its weight before slaughter. The hanging weight is typically a percentage of the live weight, and this percentage varies by the type of animal. For example, cattle often yield a hanging weight that’s approximately 60-65% of their live weight. This percentage can vary based on factors like age, breed, and the animal’s state at the time of slaughter.

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Calculating Yield

To calculate the yield of meat from a hanging weight, the butcher or processor must consider the following:

  1. Trimming and Deboning: A portion of the hanging weight includes bones and fat, which will be removed during processing.
  2. Cut Selection: The type and size of cuts desired by customers will determine the final yield. For instance, if someone wants bone-in cuts, it will affect the final yield compared to boneless cuts.
  3. Shrinkage: During processing, meat may lose some moisture, causing it to shrink. The extent of this shrinkage can vary.


Hanging weight is a fundamental concept in the meat industry, serving as a starting point for the pricing, processing, and distribution of meat products. Understanding the relationship between live weight, hanging weight, and final yield is essential for both producers and consumers in the meat market. Whether you’re a rancher, butcher, or simply a meat enthusiast, knowing the significance of hanging weight can help you make informed decisions about the meat you buy or sell.


How Much Actual Meat Do You Get From Hanging Weight?

How does hanging weight relate to live weight or packaged retail weight? As a general rule on a well finished 100% grass-fed steer, the hanging weight is 60% of the live weight and the cut and packaged meat is on average about 60% of the hanging weight.

What Is The Hanging Weight Of A 1000 Pound Steer?

On average, a 1,000 pound steer will only weigh approximately 61% of it’s live weight once it makes it to the rail. This approximate 39% loss during the slaughter and dress- ing procedure is a result of the ani- mal being bled and the hide, head, hooves, viscera, lungs and heart be- ing removed.

What Is 600 Lb Hanging Weight?

Example of a Whole Beef: Hanging weight is 600 lbs. The packaged meat will be approximately 60% of the 600 lbs., which would give you 360 lbs. of packaged/boxed beef.

What Is The Hanging Weight Of A 1200 Pound Steer?

The difference from Live Weight to Hanging Weight is from the loss of blood, head, viscera, lungs, heart, hide and hooves. The loss to hanging weight is roughly 40% to 50% of the live weight. For example, a 1200 lb. steer would have an estimated hanging weight of 720 lbs.

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