Gabni Wagyu The Elite Meat
Our Wagyu Experience
The Story so far ... as at May 2008 - Wagyu or Non-Wagyu?
We are situated near the sea-side town of Tooradin, Victoria, Australia on almost 200 acres. During the drought of 2006, we had 34 spring calves born, 8 of which we had to pull, and of them 2 were pulled between midnight and dawn.
We had to sell most of our cattle so we decided to get into a different breed. And what better breed than the delicacy that is Wagyu.
That was 15 months ago and we are now about to calf down our last 2 autumn Wagyu calves. These 2 will bring our total to 19 Wagyu calves (and we have only had to pull one due to a superficial injury to the cow prior to birth - both cow and calf are doing well). Thank goodness for small birth weights!
We decided to buy embryos and put them into recipients. We also bought 2 Wagyu heifers to produce our own embryos and to offer embryos for sale. We also bought 5 springing FULLBLOOD Wagyu.
I have had very mixed reactions from telling people that we are breeding Wagyu, from "they are the cattle you have to massage and give beer to" to "it's a very limited market". It would be a very limited market if Japan was the only country to consume Wagyu. Wagyu is an exploding phenomenon spanning to every continent in the world to literally being the special of the night at our pub down the road in Pakenham on a Thursday night!
To be continued ...
July 2008 Update - Flushing Embryos
Well we have been very busy the last few weeks. We finished our Autumn calving. We now have 19 calves in total (9 heifers and 10 bulls).
We have also just completed our first on farm flush with a fantastic result. 14 embryos from one cow and 6 embryos from another.
We coordinated some recipients to be ready on the day of the flush and were able to transfer 12 (6 from each flush) of the embryos fresh which usually gives a better uptake rate. The remaining 8 embryos were frozen
We were doing flushes on 2 heifers but after 4 poor flush results of zero to three embryos we decided to sack them from our flush program and put them in calf.
Unfortunately it is impossible to tell if a heifer or cow is going to be a "good flusher" until you flush them. In very broad terms 1/3 of donors are poor donors producing less than 3 embryos, 1/3 of donors are fair to good donors producing 3-10 embryos and 1/3 of donors are excellent producing more than 10 embryos. Only about 2% of donors produce more than 20 embryos.
We plan to do another farm flush in a few weeks.......
September 2008 Update - The Pregnancy Tests - That elusive 100%
Following our farm flush and insertion of fresh embryos into our coordinated programmed recipients 9 weeks ago, we had David Morris from Bass Valley Embryos come out and pregnancy test our recipients and we got.............wait for it.................8 positives out of a possible 12 (66%). A good result. The last few transfers we have done we have consistently been getting well over the 50% which seems to be quoted as the average overall result when dabbling in transfers. When compared to the 33% achieved in our first transfer program 66% is very good. We have learnt a lot since our first transfer program.
Of course there are so many factors involved in a transfer program, both controllable and uncontrollable that influence the chances of an embryo transfer working or not.
Some of these factors in potential recipients, that we have found from reading and our experience, that seem to be important to increase the chances of a transfer being successful include :
Of course there are lots of other factors that can have an influence. I would love to hear of other peoples experiences and how they have improved there uptake rates, and with their permission I will put them on my website. In fact if you have any information or Wagyu anecdotes you would like to share I could set up a page to share them around.
In other news we had 4 calves last week. 3 heifers sired by Michifuku and a bull sired by Itoshigefugi (TF147). Mothers and babies doing well.
October 2008 Update - What a Month!!
While our cows have been laying around chewing the cud, we have been working very hard on 2 very exciting projects.
Well, it's official. After much blood sweat and money, we are now the proud owners of an official AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) approved quarantine paddock.
It is basically a padlocked paddock within a paddock with an empty laneway surrounding it so no other animal can come in contact with the cattle that are in quarantine. For anyone to enter the paddock (i.e. humans) we have to make sure that they are free of any risk of contaminating the paddock or it's inhabitants. That means special overalls and gumboots and footbaths etc, etc.
Also, we had to invest in a complete set of cattle yards and crush to set up within the quarantine paddock for the sole use of the quarantined cattle.
So our cattle are now in quarantine and under the guidance of our AQIS approved vet who will perform the flushes and process the embryos under the strict protocols for the various overseas markets we hope to be producing our first batch of export eligible embryos which will be available for purchase in January 2009.
In other very exciting news we are very pleased to announce that Gabni Wagyu is now able to provide FULL BLOOD RED WAGYU genetics.
We have sourced some heifers and a bull with blood lines including BIG AL, HIKARI, SHIGEMARU, TAMAMARU and NAMAMARU.
We will be launching our Red Wagyu website very soon.
Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing Full Blood Red Wagyu Embryos or semen.
Here is a sneak peak at our girls.
For more information CLICK HERE
Gabni Wagyu is proud to announce the launch of RedWagyu.com
As well as being able to supply 100% Full blood Black Wagyu genetics we are now also able to supply 100% Full Blood Red Wagyu Embryos and 100% Full Blood Red Wagyu semen worldwide.
This is very exciting because from my experience in sourcing my base herd it is extremely difficult to obtain Red Wagyu genetics.
My first flush of reds is accounted for. This will be occurring on the 27th March 2009. I will then be filling orders on subsequent flushes after that.
For Further Details Click on RedWagyu.com
May 2009 - More calves and flushing of Donors
Well Autumn is almost over and our Autumn calves have hit the ground and are now running. Its great to watch them playing with each other and racing around the paddock like thoroughbred horses.
We had six calves. 4 heifers and 2 bulls. 5 of them sired by Michifuku and one of the heifers sired by TF151!!!
In other news we have our next flush of donors happening on the 6th of June.
We will be flushing 6 of our black donors (see 'Export Embryos for Sale' page) to various sires. Let us know if there is a particular sire donor combination you are interested in. We currently have semen from TF148, Michifuku, J001, J002 and J003.
We will also be flushing our Red Wagyu heifers to produce some embryos for ourselves. Our Red Wagyu Bull is currently residing at Total Livestock Genetics. He has completed and passed all his pre collection blood tests and is currently just bidding his time as per quarantine regulations prior to his first collection. As soon as he has been collected from we will be producing export eligible embryos. I didn't realize it would be such a long drawn out, expensive and stressful yet exciting process. By the time we have the first export eligible embryos it will have been almost 12 months since we purchased our Red Wagyu heifers!!
June 2009 'Not For The Faint Hearted'
Winter is upon us and the feeding out of hay is in full swing.
We did a flush on June 6th and unfortunately only got 6 embryos in total from flushing 7 donors. Even though we use rumen pellets for trace elements and they were put in only 8 months ago and they are supposed to last 12 months, my Vet is feels that the problem might be a trace element deficiency. Most likely selenium. We are awaiting blood test results. Sometimes you think you are doing all the right things but it still doesn't go according to plan.
The donors all came into heat beautifully. And they all ovulated and produced lots of of eggs and embryos. The embryos just didn't develop properly.
When I bought my first embryos they came with some wise words of wisdom from the man I bought them from. 'This is not for the faint hearted'. I now know what he meant.
Any way I guess we just have to learn from the experience, brush ourselves off and keep going.
So from now on I am going to blood test for trace elements every 4-6 months.
Hopefully by sharing these experiences through my website I can save, or at least reduce the risk, of other breeders going through the frustration and expense of a dud flush or transfer.
July 2009- Full Blood Black Wagyu Semen
Before I tell you about our Black Wagyu semen I must share this. Its the middle of winter over here and its very hard getting up on these frosty mornings to feed out hay. But WOW what a magnificent sunrise I got to witness the other day on our property. If you look in the centre of the picture you will see the silhouettes of some of my Wagyu cattle feeding from the hay ring.
..............Anyway, we have been getting enquiries for embryos and semen from all over the world. We have decided to keep 3 of our Full Blood Black Wagyu Bulls that are developing magnificently and according to their Genestar MPV (Click on Link-Genestar - Catapult Genetics) are in the top 20% for the breed for marbling and one of these three is in the top 10%!! Of course we are more than happy to still use semen from a requested bull to produce your embryos as long as it is available and eligible for producing embryos for where you live. These bulls are just too good to part with. I especially like Gabni Shosansuru below. He is a wonderful blend of genetics and an incredible looking young bull. So we can provide semen from these bulls for anywhere in the world on request.
Genestar results: Marbling 6 Tenderness 8 Feed Efficiency 6
and according to the Genestar MPV is in the top 20% for marbling in the Wagyu breed.
He is a magnificent Bull being Sired by Michifuku out of a TF151 Itozurudoi sired cow.
Photo taken 10/01/10
Genestar results: Marbling 7 Tenderness 7 Feed Efficiency 6
and according to the Genestar MPV is in the top 20% for marbling in the Wagyu breed.
He is a magnificent Bull being Sired by KITATERUYASUDOI J2810 HONGEN (J003) out of a TF151 Itozurudoi sired cow.
Photo taken 10/01/10
Genestar results: Marbling 6 Tenderness 5 Feed Efficiency 7
and according to the Genestar MPV is in the top
10% for marbling in the Wagyu breed.
Photo taken 10/01/10
These bulls are to be retained by the stud and semen will be available from them for worldwide export. Please contact me for further details.
July 21st 2009 Full Blood Red Wagyu Semen available NOW
Our red bull had his first collection of semen today!!!
We will be flushing our 2 Full Blood Red Wagyu heifers with his world wide export eligible semen on the 9th of August and producing our first batch of Full Blood Red Wagyu embryos.
So many blood tests, so many steps in the quarantine process at which this process of getting a Bull's Semen and the embryos produced from his semen eligible for world wide export. Almost 12 months of hurdles.
I am very very excited and very very pleased!!
Happy New Year 2010
We had a new addition to our Wagyu family today. A Red Wagyu Heifer !!
She is out of my Big Al sired heifer (Hinode) and sired by Shigemaru!!
When she grows into her ears she will be huge!!
In other exciting news we are 2-3 weeks away from sending our first shipment of Full Blood Red Wagyu embryos overseas.
We are flushing our red heifers every 6-8 weeks.
The enquiries are coming thick and fast for the reds and we are in the process of trying to increase our numbers as quickly as possible with the best genetics we can find.
All going well we should have a HUGE announcement in the next few weeks which will mean we can fill larger orders for Full Blood Red Wagyu embryos.
So stay tuned.........
Look how long her legs are compared to her recipient mum.
Well its 2 days later and the heifer has a full brother.
I was fortunate enough to see and take photos of the birth....I would like to share them (it happened at 11:45pm to 1:15am.)
and the following morning....
February 2010 - taking the bull by the....
We had a new experience the other day... an on farm collection of semen for a domestic order from 2 of our bulls. What amazes me is who would of thought that an electric rectal probe on a bull would have this effect. (I'm the one holding the probe).
The end result was 100 straws of excellent quality semen from each bull, some of which is off to Queensland,
the rest is for sale domestically (Semen is available for overseas on request.)
It will very interesting to see the quality of the calves they produce!!!
June 2010 - another hurdle overcome
As most breeders in Australia would be aware there is a push to breed out of our Wagyu any significant genetic diseases that can be tested for. In Australia at the moment all new AI listed approved sires must be tested and it is recommended that all embryo donors sired by known carriers should be tested. There was a chance that 2 of my donors that have TF147 as a sire or grandsire may be carriers of a condition called CHS. THEY ARE NOT CARRIERS. They are free of CHS and also free of the other 4 genetic diseases that were tested for. It means that I can offer TF147 genetics and keep the bloodlines of this magnificent bull going.
I also had my Red Wagyu Bull tested and he also is all clear and free of all 5 genetic conditions tested for.
April 2010 - Introducing My New Red Wagyu Girls!!!
I am looking out in my paddock and looking at a herd of Full Blood Red Wagyu.
We have finally been able to secure some more Full Blood Red Wagyu Heifers. 8 of them!!! They are so hard to come by. Especially the genetics that we have been able to find.
They are sired by Big Al or Shigemaru out of dams sired by Judo , Shigemaru or Hikari.
They are approximately 12 months off being able to be flushed. Very exciting.
April 24th 2010
Today we did our first Flush for the European Union. We will be sending some of these embryos to Switzerland and Austria. It is amazing to think that embryos we have produced in our quarantine paddock here in Australia will produce Wagyu that will one day be eating grass on the other side of the world. It is also a great feeling to be able to share this unique breed with cattle breeders that appreciate how special Wagyu are.
1st October 2010 -Spring is here.
Of course even though it is Spring from the 1st of September it is only now that it feels like the first day of Spring. It has been a long, cold and wet winter season this year and we are up to our mid calves (excuse the pun) in several small areas of our property in mud/water. Our animals are all fine and happy to see some spring grass coming up.
Our embryos that we flushed for the EU in April have all arrived safely at there destinations and their new owners are eagerly preparing recipients for them!!
We also put in some embryos into our recipients in July and plan to put some more in November.
The dramas and hurdles of protocols and quarantine requirements continues with the USA, South Africa and New Zealand all changing their requirements this year. The USA is still in the process of finalizing a protocol which has held up me being able to send embryos there for over 4 months so far.
Our younger Red heifers are slowly growing up and should be ready to flush in 6 months hopefully. We are of course continually flushing our current red donors and have embryos available from them.
November 2010 - My new Donors come of Age
What do you get when you mix lots and lots of rain (which we haven't seen for 10 years) and lots of dirt - Mud , mud and more mud. And lots of green lush grass at a time when the paddocks are normally drying off rapidly and we are cutting hay.
My cattle are coming along very well and are due to calf in March/April next year.
I have just updated my embryos page with the details of my new donors that I have put into my embryo production program. In the Black Wagyu lines I have some donors out of my Overflow Kaneyama sired cow, including a donor sired by the mighty Itozurudoi (TF151).
And in the Red Wagyu I now have 6 donors available to choose from including some Judo genetics.
December 2010 - Gabni Wagyu adds another Continent to its list.
In other news there is lots happening with enquiries coming in on a daily basis both locally and from overseas.
At the moment I am preparing my first order to the Continent of South America of Red semen and embryos. It is very exciting!!
Also on the weekend I sold 2 of my bulls, they are destined for China!!!
Also at the moment we are trying to get some cattle through the hoops to make there way to the USA.
Busy, busy, busy in a very good way.
Have a Wonderful Christmas and all the Best for 2011.
June 2011 - Red Vs Black
The most common question I am getting asked at the moment is the difference between Red and Black Wagyu.
First let me discuss the similarities. They are both 100% Wagyu with their genetics originating from Japan. They both produce the best marbling meat.
The Reds are in general a bigger framed Wagyu and are said to marble better on grass than the blacks.
In Australia, some breeders are actually crossing red and black Wagyu. The Australian Wagyu Association recognizes this cross and breeders can register it as a Composite Wagyu !! Personally we have decided not to cross the reds and blacks. i.e. our Black Wagyu are 100% Black Wagyu genetics and our Red Wagyu are 100% red Wagyu Genetics.
Well it has been awhile since my last update.
We are calving at the moment. I love calving it is very exciting yet stressful making sure you are there for the girls when they calve if possible. Then there is the excitement of finding out the sex of the new offspring. Then there is the excitement of tagging the calves while watching the new protective mums. I have 2 recipient cows that I dare not go near their calves. They have that killer look in there eyes and would win a staring competition hands down. I was able to capture that look on my phone camera (from a distance).
In other news we did a flush of 11 donors on the 30th April - 6 black and 5 reds. The blacks embryos are off to Europe, the 24 red embryos produced I will be sending to Bovine Elite in Texas USA along with some semen from my Fullblood Red Wagyu bull. I am finding that most breeders only want a handful of red embryos and are being put off by the transport costs. So by doing this these red embryos will be more accessible to USA breeders. Of course I will still be able to flush red embryos for anywhere else in the world if necessary.
P.S. 30th May 2011. All red Wagyu embryos sold. Next Flush planned for July. If you are interested in purchasing embryos please let me know to try and avoid disappointment.
September 2011 - Time to reassess and plan for the future.
Well a few changes have occurred since my last update. First I will let you know why they have occurred. I planned a flush of 9 donors at the end of July (5 red Wagyu and 4 black).
I went out every day to my quarantine paddock and fed them and watched over them and prepared them for my vet. I gave them the necessary injections to get them to produce multiple oocytes to inseminate. On the day that my vet was due to come and AI my donors my wife had gone to a horse show very very early and far away. I woke up very very dizzy and could not stand up straight. I was also vomiting. Long story short, I cancelled the flush, called an ambulance, the ambulance got bogged on our property because they drove off the driveway even though I warned them not to, another ambulance came and took me to hospital while the first ambulance waited for the tow truck(my wife came home from the horse show and took some photos), I went to hospital and had blood tests and scans which were all clear. I was sent home with medication and a diagnosis of an inner ear infection. It took me several days to get over it.
So this made me think about other options in relation to my flushing endeavors. What we decided was to send our red donors to a flushing facility. They will be flushing them every few weeks. It will cost me more to produce the embryos than doing them on my property but I am hoping to be able to have more embryos available to offer my clients as I am having difficulty keeping up with demand. Especially for Red Wagyu. So even though the July Flush was a disastrous non event, in the long run it has hopefully led to an overall better situation.
September 2011 Continued - My Five Year Plan.
I also sent 2 of my favorite Black Wagyu. They also are going to be flushed regularly, but for me. The plan is for the embryos they produce to form the basis of my commercial herd. My five year plan is to have an established commercial herd as well as produce embryos for other breeders. These 2 Black Wagyu are of course still able to be flushed for orders for overseas if necessary.
January 2012 - Happy New Year
Another New Year has begun. Happy New Year to all.
The year has started off with a bang with repeat orders from past clients. Obviously very happy , and who wouldn't be with one fellow breeder in the EU getting an 80% uptake rate from the embryos I produced and sold him.!!!
And the other day I got an update from a fellow breeder in the USA I sold embryos to . He sent me some photos of his cattle that he is very proud of as he should be. They are growing up very nicely. He has bulls Sired by Westholme ITOMORITAKA (J002) that look very impressive,
and a couple of heifers, one out of Westholme J001 and another out of Michifuku that look magnificent
And below are a couple of photos from my family album. Enjoy!!
November 2011- it is all happening
Well it is all happening.
I have just put in a batch of embryos into my donors, just AIed my Wagyu girls and I am just about to do a flush on the 27th November.
This is on top of having a litter of British Bulldog puppies a week ago, having Andalusian foals (one down, 4 to go as well as putting a batch of eggs through our incubator. Then we have to put our horses in foal again for next year.
Never a dull moment!!!
October 2011 - Gabni Wagyu embryos born in Switzerland !!!
I just got some pictures from a breeder in Switzerland who purchased some embryos from me 12 months ago. With his permission I am sharing this special moment with you all. These Wagyu calves were produced from embryos that where produced on my property in Australia. The system works!!!!
October 2011 - The hills are alive with the sound of Gabni Wagyu embryo calves!!!
WOW!!!! Don't they look fantastic. This client in Austria just sent me these photos of his new babies produced from embryos purchased from me 12 months ago.
Attention USA breeders : I now have semen available from my Full Blood Red Wagyu Bull at Bovine Elite in Texas, USA .
I have had a few enquiries over the past couple of years for Red Wagyu Semen. So I have some semen now available for purchase in the USA.
February 2012- Our boy is growing up
Seisakushu (aka Creator) our Fullblood Red Wagyu bull is growing up.
Here are some latest pics.
May 2012 - New members of my Wagyu Family
I love having calves. Especially when you put a particular combination together and it works.
3 calves in total (32 more due in August/September). 2 Red and one Black Wagyu.
The reds are out of my red girl Hinode and sired by Shihemaru. A heifer calf and a bull calf.
The black bull is out of my donor Gabni Diamondo and sired by Westholme J003.
Here is a picture of the little girl at a few hours old ( middle photo) with the bull calves on either side
August 2012-Spring is just around the corner!!!
What do you get when you cross my red donor Hinode with mu red bull Seisakushu, produce an embryo,
send it overseas and it gets put into a recipient cow?
A magnificent little fullblood red heifer calf on the other side of the world to its parents!!!!
And over here on this side of the world I have 19 Wagyu calves due this spring. 4 red and 15 black.
But not only am I calving, I am also flushing some embryos (reds and blacks) for my own use and also preparing a handful of recipients so I can put some fresh embryos in fresh.
I just sent a batch of red embryos to the USA to Bovine Elite. I had 6 clients awaiting there arrival. I contacted them all when
they arrived and they all sold within 36 hours. If fact I could have sold 3 times the number if I had them.
So if your interested in the next batch (about 6 months away) please let me know and I will keep you informed.
Of course I am able to produce Red Wagyu embryos for anywhere in the world. I have sold some to England and some to Austria.
Just let me know so I can do everything to qualify them.
February 2013 - Wagyu of Course
Well finally I am able to get an update happening.
It has been very busy. Firstly 34 calves have hit the ground and all the dramas that go along with that.
Then preparing my recipients to be implanted with embryos including some 13 year old red Wagyu embryos.
I implanted 4 in the first batch (2 have taken) and implanted 5 others a few weeks later.
There are a couple with very interesting genetics including 2 that have Namiko on the dam's side.
Below is what I believe is a picture of her.
Imagine having a paddock full of red Wagyu like her in your paddocks. So very excited.
Will keep you posted.
I have also put in some black embryos that have been flushed from my donors.
I use the same donors to flush the embryos for my own use as I do for my overseas clients.
At the moment I am about to prepare my donors for a repeat client in France.
He got an 80% uptake rate!!!! from the last batch of embryos he bought from me.
He sent me some photos.
Speaking of photos I have updated all the photos of my donors on my website.
Its great to see how they have all developed over the past year.
I will also be flushing 4 of my red donors again in a few weeks to my red bull.
So busy times ahead, still.
November 2013 - Facebook - The Wagyu Breeders Group
Well I have finally taken the plunge into the world of Facebook, but rather than put up a page for me and my Wagyu Stud
I have decided to start the Wagyu Breeders group so all the breeders of Wagyu from around the world can get together and share all things Wagyu.
At the moment there are 99 members after about 3 months of being up and running. It would be great to get it up to a few hundred.
If you want to join just send me an email or log on to Facebook and search Wagyu Breeders Group and ask to join that way.
We have had some very interesting discussions and shared photos and information and some breeders have even sold some Wagyu.
Meanwhile on the farm........
We have just send a batch of Black embryos to France to a repeat client.
We also have a batch of Red Wagyu embryos at Bovine Elite in Texas to be sold to on to clients in the USA.
We also have 17 Red Wagyu embryos for sale from our last flush.
The enquiries for embryos and semen keep coming in.