One thing we have noticed since starting this endeavour in breeding a full blood Wagyu herd of cattle is that the journey that we start out in life isn’t always our end destination. And Wagyu cattle is a perfect example of humble beginnings.
It is a well known fact that the breeding of the Wagyu cow is an incredibly fine art that needs to be continually monitored and assessed along every step of the way. But did you know that the Wagyu cow was originally used in cultivation as draft animals?
The Japanese Wagyu is derived from the native Asian cattle that were specifically selected for their physical endurance as draft animals. The Japanese bred it and fed the Wagyu cows a diet that enabled it to work hard and recover quickly, which resulted in an animal with fatty, marbled flesh – more commonly known amongst breeders as intra-muscular fat cells. These intra-muscular fat cells provided a readily available energy source.
It wasn’t until the 1800’s that the Japanese actually began to consume Wagyu beef. And we can’t thank them enough! It was soon after this that the Wagyu beef pioneers started breeding herds for their exceptional meat, and some of those early genetic records survive until today in the Wagyu herd books dating back to the 1830’s.
The east always holds amazing stories, and the origin story behind the Wagyu cow is another such story.
It’s no wonder that the Japanese declared the breed a national heritage asset in the 1960’s. It’s because of this that it is no longer possible to obtain genetics from Japan.
Steeped in legend from humble beginnings. The Wagyu.