beef/church calculation


How many cows and how much land would we need to roughly supply a church of 200 families with their average beef needs for a year?

From this table  in 1998 the Irish ate 17.1kg of meat per person per year while in the UK they ate 19.7kg.  So if we roughly say 20kg  per person now in 2010, which would be 40kg for two people, say 50kg per family per year would that be alright?

That would work out at just under a 1kg of beef per week per family. Helen and I don’t really eat much beef, so that seems like a lot to me but maybe it isn’t to you. If you make mince one night that would be 500g of minced beef for example.

It seems hard to get random internet figures on how much meat you can get from one cow but this one suggested it is very roughly about 50% of the total weight of a cow. Or this one gives an average of ~370kg for a dressed carcass.

So if we take 370kg and assume that all that meat will be somehow used (which is unlikely considering how we only like certain cuts of meat) that would give us a VERY ROUGH figure of a 370kg/50kg = 7.4 families per cow

200 families / 7.4 families per cow = 27 cows

So if we wanted to supply each family in a church of 200 families with 1kg of beef we would be talking about 27 cows, perhaps I’ll round it up to a herd of 30 cows.

If we take the stocking density we used for the dairy calculation (i.e. 2.5 cows per 6.2 acres)  that would be a figure of 12 x 6.2 acres = 74.4 acres.

So from a VERY ROUGH calculation we would need about 30 cattle and 75acres of farmland.

(I’m not sure if the land calculation included the area we would need to grow silage and hay for feeding the livestock over the winter.)

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