Cotswold Wagyu’s journey began in 2008 when Mike Tucker was commentating at the Beijing Olympics in Hong Kong and experienced his first taste of this incredible meat. Realising its unique and outstanding characteristics would be well received in Great Britain, he set out to bring some of the best cattle home to his Cotswold fields and the first Wagyu arrived at Church Farm in 2010.
Quality is king at Cotswold Wagyu and our breeding programme has been carefully considered and thoroughly researched. Mike has worked closely with British and International breed experts, and is using the latest genetic and pedigree know-how to build our top-quality Wagyu herd.
So committed is Mike to the future of Wagyu in Britain, he was one of a small group of breeders who founded the Wagyu Breeders’ Association in 2014. The Association (of which Mike is Chairman), has set and is committed to protecting the breed standard, and is considered one of the most forward-thinking breed societies around, using genetic testing and identification to ensure full traceability of every Wagyu beast on its register, as well as encouraging both the production of and demand for this premium beef.
It’s always exciting when new calves arrive at Church Farm and prime time for that is during the late winter and early spring months. Calves are born in our straw-laden barns and remain with their mothers for around seven months.
It’s wonderful to see our youngsters’ first experience of our lush Cotswold fields; enthusiastically exploring their surroundings and sniffing the fresh air. What we love about beef farming is that both our young males (bullocks) and females (heifers) remain on the farm. What’s even better, is that Wagyu reach their prime at around 30 months, so their life on the farm is considerably longer than for many other beef breeds.
We post news of our new arrivals on our Social Media pages, so keep an eye out to see their progress.
The Church Farm herd now counts over seventy Wagyu and WagyuX cattle, and we are consistently building the stock through careful breeding and advanced genetic know-how. Our goal is to build a small, top quality fullblood Wagyu herd that will help establish a best of breed standard in Britain, and which will produce the premium quality, highly marbled meat that the breed is famous for.
We also cross our fullblood Wagyu Bull with our own Angus and Hereford cows, producing quality (F1) WagyuX beasts for the British consumer market. The resultant meat displays good marbling qualities and clearly demonstrates the ‘distinctive difference’ in taste and texture our customers love.
Cotswold Wagyu are raised on lush green pasture for much of the year, enjoying a good healthy diet and plenty of fresh air. Our head cow man, Eric, has over 30 years’ experience in dairy and beef production, and proudly tends our beasts from their first tentative steps through to maturity at around 30 months. We ensure they enjoy the happy, healthy and natural life we ourselves aspire to. It’s a small, family-run and highly personal enterprise and our Wagyu are very much the beating heart to our future.