Myth or Fact: Are Wagyu Cows Massaged To Produce Better Meat?

No, Wagyu cattle do not receive a daily session with a masseuse or masseur to yield higher quality meat. Just imagine how big the massage tables would have to be!

But seriously, massage has many health benefits. Let’s look together into the positives and see whether there could be any truth – even a glimmer – in this persistent myth.

A5 Meats will be your guide into this fascinating world of Wagyu.


What Are The Health Benefits Of Massage?

The health benefits of massage are well known. But let’s think specifically in terms of animals. Or even more specifically in terms of farm animals.

Amazingly, a recent study showed that heifers responded positively to touch and displayed more contentment signs than usual. Horses have also demonstrated similar behaviors. Animals and humans are known to have a deep rooted, almost primal connection, which goes back to when we first began domesticating and farming animals for mutual benefit. So this is not a reaction that would surprise us.

But why, specifically, has the myth persisted around Wagyu?

The answer is simple: It is famed for having the juiciest, tastiest, and most beautiful texture of any meat in the world. Any comparisons made to regular beef are almost impossible – they are a world away from any other table meat. The reasons are a subject of great speculation, with myth and legend following this most secretive of breeds everywhere they go.

Related: How To Choose, Store And Cook Wagyu [16 Questions Answered]


Is It True that Wagyu Cows Receive Massage?

We know it’s not a standard practice.

Even Wagyu farmers who dedicate far more time to each animal than other cattle farmers don’t have time to massage their animals. But while farmers generally don’t sit down with the almond oil and lavender and soft lighting, they do provide specific equipment for their animals’ comfort. Some of it even stimulates the skin and muscles. 

For example, it’s not unheard of for cattle to have a readily available ‘rubbing stone’. Also known as ‘standing stones,’ they are large upright stones dug into the ground, which cattle can use to rub themselves. They can provide relief from insect bites, remove parasites, or scratch the parts cattle can’t reach themselves.  

Another practice is to provide a ‘cow brush.’ These are brushes the animals can rub themselves against, with the same purpose in mind. They promote efficient blood circulation and improve skin condition. Some brushes are automated or even using a swinging motion to provide greater stimulation and amusement.

Another factor to consider is space. Wagyu originate in Japan, the true birthplace of Wagyu beef. Wagyu are smaller and more compact than their regular beefy cousins, mainly due to Japan’s smaller farms and spaces. While Wagyu cattle (used initially as heavy draft animals) did not need to be large, they did need to be strong. 

Related: Japanese Wagyu Beef – The World’s Best Kept Secret

Due to the limitations of space, their living quarters were often also on the more compact side.

With heavy hauling and smaller quarters, it is not impossible to think farmers might help their animals’ sore muscles after a long day with a stiff rubdown. To this day, we do the same thing – for the same reasons - for horses. Thus the myth for Wagyu persists.


See the perfection of Wagyu beef for yourself. Come along to the A5 Meats website, where we are proud to present the finest Wagyu beef in the world. Learn more about these spectacular animals and their heritage, and treat yourself to a beautiful Wagyu meat pack at our online store. Specially prepared and delivered fresh, who wouldn’t want a little piece of luxury?