An Australian farmer who owns the largest cow in his country, “Knickers”—that became a viral sensation this week—revealed how much the animal eats.
The cow is 6 feet 4 inches at the shoulder area and weighs more than 3,000 pounds, Geoff Pearson, the owner, told the Daily Mail. It resides on a farm south of Perth in Western Australia.
Feeling cute, might delete later pic.twitter.com/XcF7E1I7Tm
— knickers (@knickersthecow) November 29, 2018
Every day, Knickers eats 70 pounds of natural green pasture and cereal grain, Pearson said, adding the cow has always eaten a lot.
“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,” Pearson told the publication. “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.”
Pearson said Knickers is slightly shorter than his son, Tex, 17, who is 6 feet 7 inches.
Pearson said he’s got a herd of 20,000 cattle, but noted there is a high rate of cattle being sent to the slaughterhouse. But Knickers, he said, is an exception due to his size.
“He’s our favorite and one of our best assets, he’s part of the furniture now,” he said, adding that Knickers is too big for any slaughterhouse to take.
“He’s gone from being a production animal to I guess some sort of star,” he 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”
It’s not clear if the farm will use Knickers as some sort of attraction in the future, Pearson added, saying the cow is “just getting on with his job, which is basically just eating and sleeping.”
Meanwhile, the animal still has a few years left to live despite its huge size.
The world’s tallest steer currently is an Italian Chianina ox called Bellino that is several inches taller than Knickers. The heaviest-ever cow weighs about 5,000 pounds.
Knickers is a Holstein-Friesian, a dairy breed known for being quite tall, according to an industry website about the animals. “Holsteins are most quickly recognized by their distinctive color markings and outstanding milk production. Holsteins are large cattle with color patterns of black and white or red and white,” it says.
On average, Holsteins weigh about 1,500 pounds and are 58 inches tall at the shoulder.
Margaret River veterinarian Rupert Mothersole told the ABC several weeks ago that he’s never seen a steer as large as Knickers, but he stated it’s not unusual for Holstein-Friesian to grow to that size.
“We’ve seen, over the last 30 to 40 years, quite a considerable increase in the average size of the cow,” he said. “Obviously the bulls and the steers are also going to grow larger as we select larger genetics.”
“If we castrate them young then basically we’re not going to have the influence of those hormones,” he said. “We’re going to find that the growth plates, which cause the bone plates to continue to grow, are going to stay open for much longer and that’s going to give you a much more leggy, taller animal.”
From The Epoch Times