At LMCC we raise finest Wagyu genetics possible, and provide a safe and reliable product to the consumer. Our prime purpose at Lone Mountain Cattle Company is twofold; we want to take excellent care of our animals, raise them with respect in an environment-friendly fashion. Secondly, we are consumer driven to produce the highest quality beef.
We make every effort to achieve the safest and highest quality - no growth hormones or antibiotics in feed in otherwise healthy livestock are ever provided to animals at Lone Mountain. We favor making USDA regulations even stricter, requiring all animals by-products be eliminated from feed. We support BSE testing of all carcasses, COOL labeling, and RFID tags that allow for following cattle from birth to the packing plant. LMCC is officially registered with a Premises ID from the New Mexico Livestock Board.
We have a preference for using longer feeding periods of approximately 350-400 days, feeding them naturally, and not rushing the animals through the feedlot in order to get the largest carcasses. The optimal average daily gain of a Wagyu steer is 1.5 - 2 pounds per day. The optimal age at slaughter is 27-28 months.
This extended feeding period is needed in order for the Wagyu to marble out properly. The key to maximizing marbling without the formation of excessive subcutaneous fat is a slow, steady daily weight gain from birth until slaughter.
In the end, we believe these efforts result in the most tender, flavorful, and high-grading beef available.
How we develop our Fullblood Wagyu genetics
When we began doing research on Wagyu genetics, we found that the Tajima strain stood out as the best marbling animals of the breed, and learned that several bulls of this strain were prominent. LMCC focuses on the following four bulls as our foundation of superior genetics:
We made our first semen purchase during the spring of 2005, from a bull sired by Fukutsuru 068. After much searching, two bulls were located: a 5 year-old bull, BR Fukutsuru 0620, sired by Fukutsuru 068 out of a cow sired by Michifuku, and Bar R 12P, 18 months old, sired by a son of Takazakura with Fukutsuru 068 in his pedigree in two instances (a double cross).
- Fukutsuru 068 the leading sire for marbling
- Michifuku a great marbling bull, a high score in ribeye area
- Sanjirou, a Michifuku son, scoring very high on the marbling chart
- Takazakura, a younger bull who also scores very high on the marbling chart
One of the problems we encountered in finding any female Wagyu was the fact that the Wagyu herd sizes in America are very small compared to any other breed. The American Wagyu Association has over 100 current members producing Wagyu cattle; slight compared to other national beef breed associations.
Even with these challenges, LMCC found a producer who was willing to sell 20 embryos (by Michifuku and Fukutsuru 068), if we were willing to take the chance that they could be successfully transferred to surrogate mother cows - 12 successfully transplanted.
Subsequently, LMCC purchased 18 pregnancies by Sanjirou, Fukutsuru 068 and Michifuku. And we located and purchased 9 females - two were pregnant, one of them with a Fukutsuru 068 calf. Six of these females were sold ready to flush.
In the fall of 2005, LMCC began flushing the cows. The first flush resulted in 36 viable embryos, 16 of which were transferred (20 frozen for future use). Those 16 turned into 8 pregnancies, some of which are sired by Michifuku. The second flush in January 2006 resulted in 20 viable embryos, all of which were transferred and have resulted in 12 pregnancies.
Currently, the LMR Wagyu herd size has grown to 225 Fullblood Wagyu. In addition, there are 100 pregnancies due over the next 9 months. After the '09 sale, when we will sell 75 animals - the herd should number approximately 250.
LMCC Wagyu has based our herd genetics from Fukutsuru 068, Michifuku, Sanjirou and Takazakura, along with the introduction of other Tajima sires (such as Terutani, Shigeshigetani and Kikuterushige) and outcrossing to the Shimane line, using sires such as Itozurudoi 151, Itohana 2, Itomichi 1-2, Itoshigefuji (75% Okayama - 25% Shimane), and Itoshigenami (50% Tajima - 50% Shimane). We try to follow the example of the Japanese, by crossing the higher marbling Tajima strain to the larger strains, such as the Shimane or Fujiyoshi lines.