Largest 'Knickers' in Australia Eats 30Kg of Grass Each Day

Published November 29th, 2018 - 12:00 GMT
(Daily Mail)
(Daily Mail)

An enormous steer standing almost two metres tall and weighing more than a small car eats about 30kg of grass and grain a day to reach his monstrous size.

The seven-year-old behemoth named Knickers is believed to be the biggest in Australia and one of the tallest in the world, measuring 194cm (6ft 4in) to his shoulders and weighing more than 1,400kg (3,000lbs).

Knickers is so big, double the weight and half a metre taller than an average Holstein Friesian steer, that he was too big to be slaughtered in an abattoir and made into steaks, so he will live out his life as king of the herd.

His owner Geoff Pearson said he roamed the paddocks of his feedlot near Lake Preston, about 90 minutes south of Perth, with hundreds of cattle following him.

'Whenever you want to know where your cattle are you just cast your eye over the paddock and you can't miss him,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'The other cattle look up to him, wherever he goes they go. If he wants to go for a walk, they follow, if he wants to sit down, they wait around for him to get up.'

Knickers' massive 30kg-a-day diet is a mix of natural green pasture and rations of cereal grain, and though he has always been a big eater, Mr Pearson puts his size mostly down to genetics.

'He was always a standout who stood above the rest. We kept him on because we thought he had potential to be a big steer but never imagined he'd grow to be this huge,' he said.

'It's quite daunting being up close to him, he's far bigger than any other steer I've had. But he's very placid, not aggressive, just inquisitive.'

Knickers was only slightly shorter than Mr Pearson's son Tex, 17, who stands 204cm (6ft 7in), and is even taller when measuring to the top of the massive beast's head.

Vets said steers grew to be far bigger than bulls because they were castrated young and don't go through the hormonal changes that stop bulls growing.

Cattle in general are also getting bigger due to selective breeding of the heaviest and therefore most lucrative cows for meat production.

The average size of a cow across all breeds is 630kg - up 18 per cent in the past two decades.

Mr Pearson said his herd of 20,000 had a high turnover and all the steers Knickers started with were sold or sent to the abattoir at least three years ago, but he would stick around for the rest of his days.

'He's our favourite and one of our best assets, he's part of the furniture now,' he said.

Even if the farm wanted to make him into thousands of hamburgers, he quickly became too big for any production facility to process.

'He's gone from being a production animal to I guess some sort of star,' Mr Pearson said.

'We always got comments from anyone who saw him but he's rapidly becoming a local celebrity now. I'm not sure how we will handle his newfound popularity.'

Mr Pearson said there were no plans yet to use his huge coach to increase the exposure of his farm, but he would see what happened down the track. Knickers was unfazed either way.

'He's just getting on with his job, which is basically just eating and sleeping,' he said.

Knickers' huge size would affect his life expectancy, but Mr Pearson thinks he has a few good years left and so far didn't need any special looking after as long as he had enough food and water.

His unusual name comes from his pairing with a long-departed Brahman steer named Bra - giving the farm a 'full set of underwear'.

The world's tallest living steer, or bovine of any kind, is an Italian chianina ox called Bellino that stands just over two metres, and the heaviest ever weighed 2,267kg (5,000lbs).

A South Australian Guernsey steer named Big Moo was the previous Australian record holder but only came up to 190cm (6ft 2in).

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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