Some people think that to be ‘real’, Wagyu cattle have to be fed beer and sake, massaged, and kept in sheds all their lives.

It is true that in Japan the cattle are pampered in this way, but it is about farming practices and traditions. The Wagyu in Japan are kept in sheds for climatic reasons, because of lack of grazing land, and for many farmers the value of their cattle is too great to risk on the limited rugged pastures that are available to them.

Due to being shedded, usually in stalls, the cattle’s muscles are not exercised, and as they are not exercising, they are not hungry. The Japanese farmers increase the cattle’s appetite by feeding them beer and or sake, and to stop the muscles degrading they are massaged. The staple diet of the cattle is grain, which varies in formula dependent on the age of the animal and whether it is breeding or fattening stock.

In Australia, our cattle feed on pastures with grain assist. Their appetites are stimulated by the gentle exercise of grazing on lush pastures. Our cattle practices are to gentle the cattle so as not to stress the animals, resulting in a healthier animal and high quality beef. The cattle are mostly finished in specialized Wagyu feedlots using grain feeding regimes based on research.

There is an emerging grass fed industry in Australia for Wagyu, however early experience is showing that the cattle do not marble as highly.

The Australian Wagyu are also ‘real’ wagyu. They are farmed differently due to land availability and as a result of this, different farming practices are used.