The dressed weight or HCW (Hot Carcass Weight) is what you get when the inedible parts are removed. These parts include the hide, feet, head, and most of the innards. Most beef cattle dress out at about 59%. So, a steer with a live weight of 1,200 lbs. will dress out at about 708 lbs. Is that how much you would bring home? No. The finished cut weight is about 60% of the HCW. So, a 1,200 lb. steer would yield about 424 lbs. of meat.
There are several things that affect the carcass cutting yield. An animal with more fat and more muscle will dress higher, as well as the amount of cover fat left on the cuts can make a difference in the percentage. The number of boneless cuts can change the percentage also. Bones are heavy and removing them does not change the amount of meat available, but it does change the yield percentage.