Scheduling a beef for butcher is a tough one. We’re working through the process for the second time now, for our own beef. The scheduling part is something you have to know months in advance. If you had an emergency and needed to get an animal in “right away”, I don’t know if that’s possible. We’re scheduled about 6 months out.
As far as running the business side of things, it will set a requirement to get a good deposit and commitment from customers for a share of the beef. The customer must then budget for the balance of the payment when the beef is ready for pick-up.
In an ideal world, a beef would be slaughtered at the end of the grass growing season. The taste and texture is best when the animal is in the growing phase of the season vs when nutrients are getting less nutritious or less available, in general. The age of the animal is less a factor than what (and how much) it’s eating at the time. All fall slaughter dates are very difficult to get unless scheduled 1 year in advance. The best time to slaughter is September/October as grass growth drops off precipitously in most places.