Wagyu is a Japanese breed of Cattle where the ‘Wa’ means Japanese and ‘Gyu’ means cow. Wagyu cattle were selected for their physical endurance which favoured animals with more intramuscular fat cells or ‘marbling’.
The breed was confined to Japan until the 1970’s since it was regarded a national treasure and protected by export from the Japanese government. The first bloodlines of Wagyu beef came out of Japan to America in the 1970’s with Australia following in the 1990’s. The breed is now readily available all over the world.
In Japan, there are a number of bloodlines, the most favoured are Tajima for producing the best quality beef. ‘Kobe’ beef is a famous type of Wagyu, this is from the ‘Kobe’ prefecture and uses the Tajima bloodline.
Across the World as well as in Japan, Fullblood Wagyu are produced when the father and mother 100% Wagyu content. Most Wagyu cattle around the world are produced as a cross, in Japan the favoured first cross breed is with a dairy animal, this is known as an ‘F1 Wagyu’ where it is 50% or more Wagyu content. F1 Wagyu can be produced by crossing with any non-Wagyu breed.
At Warrendale Wagyu we predominantly produce an F1 Wagyu with a Holstein cow using our Fullblood Bull genetics from Australia.
We produce our Wagyu beef from a dairy cow which means it has a lower environmental footprint than traditional beef. Calves from dairy cows have sometimes been viewed as a ‘by-product’, with the focus on milk production. However, we work with our dairy farmers to give a purpose for these Wagyu cross calves and ensure they are reared and cared for through our system.
Our cattle are slow growing on grass for around 2 years, usually in areas of the UK that can’t grow other crops effectively. Therefore, this grass is removing carbon from the atmosphere for our cattle to then graze and convert into great beef. We then finish the cattle on a grain and forage mixed diet. We use grains and crops available to them, usually grown on their own farms our sourced locally. We don’t use any soya in our cattle diets.
We process our animals at an industry leading facility that takes animal welfare as a priority. Our meat is chilled down and aged to ensure that it will always deliver the best eating experience.