Black and Red Wagyu Cattle Breeds

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Information about Japanese Shimane, Tottori, Tajima, Kedaka and Kumamoto Wagyu

Wagyu cattle originate from Japan. The word Wagyu (pronounced ‘way-gyu’ or ‘wah-gyu’ and often misspelled ' waygyu' or 'wagyoo') literally means ‘Japanese cattle’.

The uniquely Marbled beef is in high demand in Japan due to its renowned flavour, tenderness and juiciness, and is becoming increasingly sought after in Australia and across the world, despite its relative expense.

Wagyu cattle are descended from native Asian breeds which were crossbred with various European breeds in the late 1800s. In 1910, the bloodlines were closed to outside breeds and have, ever since, been highly regulated and monitored. Only the most proven genetic lines are kept for breeding.

The Japanese Black Wagyu have four predominant strains. Tajima has excellent marbling ability whilst Shimane, Tottori, Kedaka strains produce high marbling large frame and good milking capabilities.

The Japanese Red Wagyu, a Bos Tauris type of cattle, had their origins and evolution in Kumamoto, Japan. These animals were strongly influenced by Simmental and South Devon breeds and closely resemble modern American beef cattle. The carcase has traits of high marbling with palatable and product consistency, with minimal external fat. Infusion of these genetics in a cross breeding program will produce quality marbled meat resulting in substantially higher returns to producers, when compared with other beef breeds in the increasingly competitive local and overseas markets.

Some of the most important factors that affect the degree of adaptability of animals in tropical areas are the types of hide and coat colour. During their first stage of development, Red Wagyu were exposed to tick born diseases, external parasites and other natural endemic factors present in the hot and humid conditions of Kumamoto, Japan. They developed smooth coats and thick loose skins. Coat colour is directly related to the animal's capability to reflect infrared and ultraviolet radiation. Great emphasis should be placed on selecting breeds with desirable colour and coat type for crossbreeding programs in tropical areas. In these regions with large savanna areas which experience high humidity and temperatures with intensive infrared radiation, red, yellow and cream/white cattle with pigmented hides should be bred for maximum adaptability to overcome climatic conditions.

With the Brahman, Nellore and Zebu cattle found in many areas of Asia and South America, the Red Wagyu is the breed for upgrading meat quality substantially to enhance export sales as well as adapting to local tropical conditions which other Bos Taurus breeds will not.

Trials conducted in America have shown Red Wagyu crossed with tropical breeds, result in a better quality carcase, and a heavier calf due to the hybrid vigour.

At Mazda Wagyu Stud we use the latest techniques and equipment for optimum results in the collection and implantation of embryos, our facilities are second to none.

Our Black and Red sires are located at Total Livestock Genetics Pty Ltd, the leading collection centre in Victoria, who are accreditated by AQUIS.

It is accepted that within the Wagyu breed, there are four main bloodlines: The Black Wagyu strains consist of the Shimane, Tottori and Tajima bloodlines, and the Red Wagyu strain is the Kumamoto bloodline. Each of these strains can be traced back to the different regions of Japan from which they originate.

To learn about Wagyu Beef, click here.

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