The past three months have been all about new life, cute calves and quality breeding.
We?ve welcomed 200 calves from our Angus, Shorthorn, Highland and Wagyu breeds, collected semen from four bulls and had a very successful flush.
And we?ve had great interest from South America in particular for our Wagyu semen and requests for semen from our champion Beef Shorthorn bull Quoiggs Extra Special while Quoiggs Freud has generated his own little flurry of enquiries with his success on the show circuit (see below).
Recent press interest in the Wagyu breed has brought Highland Wagyu to the attention of UK chefs who are surprised and delighted it?s being bred ?on their doorstep? especially with the demand from customers to source quality meat closer to home.
We?ve also been contacted by a number of private customers looking at our Wagyu beef for a treat or a special occasion. In fact, we now have a waiting list!
April and May saw the majority of our new arrivals, including 50 calves in 10 days ? that was a busy week! And it?s been so exciting to see the arrival of more of our F1s (50% Wagyu) and we also saw our first F2s (3/4 Wagyu).
Here are some images of the little ones:
In an exciting first for us, we had three of our fullblood?Wagyu boys at stud?in May with their semen collected for our use and for sale in the EU. We?re also planning on collecting semen for international sale in the future so stay tuned.
Here are our stud muffins...
We also took semen from one of our Aberdeen Angus bulls, Idvies Proud Painter K460, and our Wagyu bull, Odyssey, for sale in the UK only. To round everything off at the end of May, we flushed for embryos in six of our Fullblood Wagyu girls and implanted 25 into Angus, Shorthorn and Highland surrogates and froze the excess haul.
The month of May also saw Mohsin become Vice President for Stirling on the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland board and we were proud to be one of the main sponsors of the Royal Highland Show ? the ?Greatest Show on Earth?.
This year?s show season over the summer has been fantastic ? as has the weather. It?s hard to believe we?re in Scotland with all this sun!
The HW Shorthorn team has been incredibly busy in May and June. Our star line-up of our champion shorthorn bull Quoiggs Extra Special, young bull Quoiggs Freud, Mohmar Georgina, Quoiggs Rhona E530 and her bull calf Mohmar Hercules, heifer Mohmar Gracious Broadhooks and yearling bull Mohmar Genghis Khan brought home the rosettes and trophies from Ayr Show, Fife Show, Stirling Show (for which we were also main sponsors), and the Royal Highland Show.
It?s not all about Wagyus and Shorthorns. In June we made a big announcement for the Aberdeen Angus breed with our exciting partnership with W & D McLaren of Netherton Angus, our neighbours and good friends.
In the last six weeks I?ve been going through the genetics, matchmaking the Wagyu girls with the bulls. I love genetics; I could talk about it all day. To get the Wagyus officially registered, DNA has to go to Ireland before heading to The Australian Wagyu Association. It?s a time-consuming process but absolutely fascinating. I just wish I could spend more time doing it.
As we say on the website, raising Wagyu is considered an art and in order to be successful, it?s 70% genetics and 30% diet. We also like to add in a huge dollop of passion and respect.
I?ve wanted to write a blog for a while, because I think our story is an interesting one ? at least that?s what I?m told when I tell people why we swapped Dubai for Dunblane.
So here we are halfway through April. Where have the first three months of the year gone? We?ve been hectic with our new calves, our website launch, mad dashes to London to see new customers and lots of love for our beef, which is what it?s all about.
What a week we had in February! A herd test at the same time as animal health wanting to do a spot check on animal passports while I was dying in my bed with the flu.
The weather was awful ? snow and severe gales ? I?m so pleased I came here from sunny Dubai. But, hey I've got beautiful cows now.
I do have my favourite animals, I can?t help it and I love my cuddles at Wagyu Central. If my brush is missing I give them a good scratch with my hands, which turn black - something that would've freaked me out a few years ago!
Some parts of cattle breeding are heartbreaking. One of our new Highlanders bought at Oban gave birth early ? to stillborn twins. My heart went out to the poor girl, and she spent the next day ?looking for them. And then we had a sick Wagyu Angus cross calf, which we lost.
The flip side is that the following month we arrived at the farm to find one of our Highlanders with a calf snuggled next to her. We named him Earrach, which is Gaelic for Spring. Trying to get an ear tag and necessary checks done proved a challenge. His mum wanted to stick her spectacular horns into anyone who came close. Hahaha!
So much going on in March - orders going out, picking up burger samples, another day of herd testing, car disaster, broken tractor returns, happy customers and new ones too.
We?ve hosted loads of visits including the guys doing the catering for the Ryder Cup and the Budding Chefs.
Adam Handling, Head Chef at Caxton Grill ? and newly crowned BCF Chef 2014 - ran an exclusive?Wagyu Month, which sold out in 10 days. (picture below courtesy of Adam Handling and Caxton Grill). He said it was the best he?d ever tasted and had tremendous feedback so was straight on to buy another carcase! Woop!
And we?re chuffed to bits our Wagyu burgers are going down a storm at Edinburgh gastro pub Scran and Scallie.
The final few days in March were spent organising wagyu deliveries to London and Edinburgh. My last Wagyu steer for a couple of months was sold before he's even been slaughtered. Poor soul, I went and gave him a stroke and, of course, a hug. The Wags are the most amazing characters.
I'm pleased that whoever receives our beef knows that we love them from birth and enjoy the end result. Although that may sound a little crazy, it's not! It's definitely what we?re about.
Introducing our beautiful new Highlanders, bought at Oban auction market on Monday, February 17th?from Sir William Lithgow, Bt & Son,?Ormsary Estates, Lochgilphead.
Pictured top is female champion, senior heifer champion and winner of DM Stewart Memorial Trophy, Susan 13th of Ormsary,?for 6,000gns?by Oskar of Hyndford out of Susan 5th of Ormsary.
We bought the first four females sold, including another from the same family at Ormsary, Susan 14th of Ormsary (pictured second) a black four-year-old by Lochlan of Some for 2,400gns.
Welcome to the family, ladies.