Newborn Wagyu calf, which weighs about 66 pounds, stays with its natural mother for about 10 months. The calf is then sold to farmers who feed and fatten it with hay, rice straw, other roughage, barley and corn for the next 20 to 24 months. Extensive care and much labor spent to raise the cattle resulting in beef whose snow white fat thoroughly marbles the muscle meat. By the time when the cow leaves for slaughter house they weigh around 1500 pounds. This is a simple description of the life of Wagyu cattle, but there are some buzzing stories around them.
One is beer feeding. Unbearably high temperature and humidity in Japan depress cow to eat who are kept in a small space and many cattle go off feed. When this happens, beer is fed to the cattle to stimulate appetite. This is a part of an overall management program designed to keep the cattle on feed. Not every cow gets this treat if the situation is better. Anyway I believe that happy cattle eating feed happily increases good chemicals in their body, resulting the quality meat at the end. The second story is massaging the cattle. This is a common-sense practice required for cattle that are tied and fed in one small place for months. The massaging relieve stress from the cattle and make them more comfortable. Again this leads to quality meat in the end.
Next blog will be about Confusing: Wagyu, American Wagyu, Australian Wagy.