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Removal of blood, hide, and offal at the time of harvest accounts for an average weight loss of nearly half of the original live weight of an animal (beef and lamb). Percentage of loss in hogs from live to dressed carcasses averages nearly one quarter of the live weight of the animal.


Yield percentages from live to dressed weight:


Cutting of dressed carcass meat into "ready to cook" family portions of roasts, steaks, chops, and other cuts, again accounts for a considerable decrease in weight.  This is brought about by the careful trimming of excess bone and fat, which not only makes possible the preparation of popular ground meat but also eliminates waste of zero storage space as well as the necessity of further kitchen preparation.


Yield percentages from live to dressed weight:

  • Beef - 65% to 82%

  • Pork - 70% to 73% (exclusive of lard)

  • Lamb - 78% - 92%

  • Beef - 53% to 60%

  • Pork - 70% to 75%

  • Lamb - 48% to 52%

Meat Shop Meat Processing Unit Meat Shop

In the processing of meat from live animals to table ready cuts, two operations take place during which primary losses occur:

The wide yield variation, particularly on beef, depends not only on size and fatness of the animal but also on the way in which the meat is cut for you. If you desire little or no ground meat or boneless cuts, trimming loss will be comparatively low. If you want quantities of boneless and ground meat weight loss will, of course, be proportionately greater.  Yield percentage figures provided by the National Livestock and Meat Board"