Owner of giant steer 'Knickers' reveals how he got so ridiculously big
It's not often that a cow makes the news, but on the other hand, there are not many cows like Knickers.
Knickers, a seven-year-old Holstein-Friesian steer, is a staggering 6 foot 4 inches tall, weighing in at over 3,000 pounds. For reference, these dairy cows tend to only make it to around 4 foot 10, and weigh about half what Knickers weighs. This colossal size, according to his owner, kept her from the slaughterhouse.
The steer, called a "bovine behemoth" by local news outlets, roams the paddocks near Lake Preston, about 90 minutes south of Perth. As it turned out, the meat processors couldn't even handle his weight - not could he fit through the door in the first place.
"He was too big to go into the export plant's chain," explained the farmer. "We have a high turnover of cattle and he was lucky enough to stay behind."
Geoff Pearson, who owns the property, said he will spend the rest of his life on the farm - alongside around 20,000 other cattle.
"You'll put him in a paddock and all the other cattle seem to get attracted to him," he said. "Whenever he wants to get up and start walking there's a trail of hundreds of cattle following him. We all know when Knickers in on the move."
The name, Geoff explained to the BBC, originally came from one of Knickers' companions - 'Bra,' short for Brahman steer. "His name was bra... so we [had] bra and knickers," he explained. "We never thought he would turn into a big knickers."
Knickers is apparently not quite the tallest living bovine in the world, but he's close. Bellino, a chianina ox from Italy, was measured to be an overwhelming 6 foot 7 in 2010. However, Bellino doesn't have quite the same level of stardom that Knickers has recently achieved - which came from his 30kg-a-day diet of green pasture and cereal grain.
Saying that, Geoff also puts a serious amount of his growth 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," Geoff told Daily Mail Australia.
"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."
"He's gone from being a production animal to I guess some sort of star. 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."
"He's just getting on with his job, which is basically just eating and sleeping,' Pearson added. It looks like Knickers has a pretty swell life at the moment, getting to be the biggest of his herd, and safe to live out the rest of his life sleeping and eating as he wishes.