Photos of a giant black and white bovine towering over other cows have been doing the rounds online for the last couple of days, making people do a double take. The animal looks so huge that you really couldn’t blame the many people claiming that the photos are photoshopped, but they’re wrong. He’s just Knickers the giant bull that’s too big for slaughter.
Knickers, a 194cm-tall, 1,400kg-heavy Holstein Friesian steer, became the talk of the internet these last couple of days after photos of him towering over a heard of Wagyu cows on a farm in Myalup, Australia went viral. He looked so big compared to the other cattle that a lot of people started questioning if he was real, or just the result of photo editing. But then videos showing this bovine giant in all his glory started showing up online, and there was no more room for doubt. Yes, Knickers is just that big, in fact, he is believed to be the biggest steer in Australia, a country home to millions of cattle.
Holstein-Friesians are a large breed. On average, adults stand at 147 centimeters (58 inches) at the shoulders and weigh around 1,500 pounds, but Knickers is unusually large even for his own breed. He’s so large that when his owner tried to put him up for auction last month, meat processors all passed, saying that he was literally too big to kill in their stockyards.
Geoff Pearson, who owns about 20,000 cattle, bought Knickers for $400 when he was only 12-month-old, and while he always expected him to grow into a large steer, he never expected him to get this big. Now, at 7-years-old, Knickers towers over all the other cattle on Pearson’s farm in Myalup, and has to be weighed on a platform scaled normally used for weighing groups of cows.
Photo: Geoff Pearson
The cattle owners told PerthNow that Knickers always stood out out from all the other cattle in terms of size, so while most of the other cattle were sent for slaughter at an early age, they decided to keep him around to see how big he got. But after a few more cycles of cattle, the farmers realized that hadn’t stopped growing. And now he’s too big to sell.
Asked how the humongous steer got his funny name, Geoff Pearson said that when he arrived on the farm, Knickers became friends with another steer from the Brahman breed. They called that one Bra, so the two of them became Bra and Knickers.
Pearson said that after escaping the slaughterhouse, and now that he’s become an online star, Knickers will live out the rest of his days at his farm, leading the herd who love nothing more than to follow him around wherever he goes.
“They all look up to him, obviously, and wherever Knickers moves, they move, and he’s pretty much just the leader of the pack and coaching everybody where they need to be going,” the cattle owner said.
While Knickers may be able to claim the title of Australia’s largest steer, the record for the world’s tallest living steer belongs to Bellino, who stood at a whopping 2.027m, when he was measured in 2010, in Italy.