Wagyu – an increasingly popular breed in the UK, but phenomenal on the worldwide stage. At Wyndford we are keen to develop and grow our herd with the wider market in mind, focussing on Elite genetics and great quality stock. We therefore require a platform where we can effectively compare and market our cattle with those overseas. This is why the British Wagyu Association are closely affiliated with the Australian Wagyu Association.
When becoming a member of the British Wagyu Association you are automatically enlisted in the Australian Wagyu Association. As a Fullblood breeder in the UK, we get huge value from the services provided by the Australian Association. This blog intends to outline what we do on farm and how registering with the Australian Wagyu Association benefits us.
All of our cattle registered in the Australian Herdbook are compulsory parent verified. We tissue sample all calves on Day 1 of birth where the sample is sent to Neogen Scotland for genomic testing. The results are then sent electronically to the Australian Wagyu Association. Once Parent verified we can go ahead and register the animal with the association. We then receive Genomic EBV’s and genetic condition results. This whole process adds huge value to our herd. Not only do we verify that each animal is who we say it is, but the Genomic EBV’s enable us to select and breed from our elite cattle. We can then benchmark our animals within our herd and in the entire Australian Database. All other breeders and Wagyu enthusiasts can view our cattle EBV’s via the Australian Wagyu Website, creating total transparency. The Australian database forms the worldwide Wagyu stage outside of Japan.
We now have 350 head of Wagyu and genomic EBV’s play a critical part in our decision making. Having built the herd up to 350 Wagyu via embryo transfer with our 180 head Holstein recipient herd. We produce groups of siblings to genomic sample and compare all at once. Seeing the differences in genetic potential of siblings is brilliant and choosing the best of a group helps increase genetic gain.
However, we do not use genomic information alone, it is a great tool to be used in conjunction with other data. Therefore throughout the first 12 months, we collect weights & ultrasound scan information for all animals. We then utilise all the phenotypic and genetic information to make decisions on which route our young cattle will go down. Whether it is breeding females, stud bulls, stock bulls or finishing cattle. This phenotypic date is also sent across to the Australian Wagyu Association who utilise it in the EBV calculations to improve accuracy. We also Carcass Camera all of our finished animals as CARCASS IS KING and is therefore the most valuable information for sire & dam progeny to increase the accuracy of EBV’s.
The Australian Association offer a huge amount of value back to the breeder and not only in terms of EBV’s. They also organise a conference once a year, which is a great stage for wagyu breeders around the world to connect. They offer the Sire Progeny test program which enable small and large breeders alike to prove their bulls. Through this program they are also developing new EBV’s. They fly the flag for the breed worldwide and enable breeders to compare their stock on an international platform.