I For One Welcome Our Giant Australian Bovine Overlords

Now that's a lot of beef.

And now for a bit of a palate cleanser. Australia is known for some unusual and unique animal life, but this is one for the record books:

The world’s expectations for a hero have perhaps never been lower.

Which brings us to the steer. It’s like a normal steer, but bigger.

It’s a very big steer.

The very big steer is, according to the nearly unanimous acclaim on social media, a hero. At 6 feet 4 inches tall and more than 1.4 tons (2,800 pounds), it is roughly the height of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson but weighs about 11 times as much.

Its enormous size — just three inches short of the Guinness World Record for tallest living steer — saved it from certain death, its owner said. No one bought it for slaughter at an auction last month because potential buyers said it wouldn’t fit in their farm equipment.

“He was always a standout steer,” said Geoff Pearson, who owns thousands of cattle in Myalup, a small town south of Perth in Western Australia.

The steer’s name is Knickers. He’s a Holstein-Friesian, a dairy breed.

He is not, as many on the internet have wrongly assumed, a big cow. A cow is a female that has had at least one calf, while a steer is a male that has been neutered.

Mr. Pearson said he doesn’t usually get attached to his cattle. But Knickers is different.

Knickers drew worldwide adoration after local news reports ignited coverage of him internationally, and his image saturated social media on Tuesday.

Get a load of this guy.

There was something familiar about him. Knickers is that guy who stands in front of you at every concert.

There was something relatable about him. Knickers looks the way you feel when you don’t know anyone at a party.

And there was something inspiring about him. Cattle don’t typically have much control over their fate. Knickers beat the system.

His reward for escaping the literal chopping block will be a life of coaching other animals on how to live their lives at the farm, Mr. Pearson said. The other animals have taken to him.

Mature steer of his breed typically stand 4 feet 10 inches tall and weigh about 1,500 pounds, according to the Cattle Site.

While Knickers is undoubtedly an absolute unit, the images make him appear even bigger when surrounded by Wagyu, a different breed of cattle that typically tops out at about 1.4 meters, Mr. Pearson said. And while Knickers is 7 years old, the cattle surrounding him are about 1, he added.

No need to ask “Where’s The Beef?” anymore.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Get back to me when this hoax is debunked.

  2. Kathy says:

    [..]while a steer is a male that has been neutered.

    Much to the relief of every cow on the continent.

  3. @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Based on the accounts this appears to be genuine

  4. Mu says:

    It’s big, but not as enormous as the picture suggests. The animals in the scene are juveniles of a smaller species.

  5. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Meet Knickers, the giant cow that is neither a cow nor a giant

    Short version is the steer is only about 10% bigger than normal, but they photographed him in a herd of juvenile cows to make him look more impressive.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis: When I saw this this morn, my first reaction was, “Well, now we know where the beef is.”

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu: Cows are all of the same species, not necessarily the same breed, but the same species.

    @Stormy Dragon: Your average steer generally weighs between 1,000 and 1,500 lbs. and stands at 4.5-5 feet at the shoulder. This one is over 3,000 lbs. and over 6 feet tall (at the shoulder I presume). The first time I stood next to a one ton animal with the intention of moving him someplace he had no intention of going, I damn near pissed my pants. This guy is one and a half times bigger than that.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: And for the record, google is an idiot. If you google steer, you may very well come up with bulls and cows, neither of which are steers. A steer is a castrated male bovine which generally reaches slaughter wt. at about 2 years of age and is generally 1ooo to 1500 lbs.

  9. Kathy says:


    This reminds me:

    Daddy, what do you call a boy horse?
    A stallion
    And what do you call a girl horse?
    A mare
    And what do call a baby horse?
    A foal
    Daddy, what kind of horse is called a horse?

  10. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    The Photoshop in this photo seems pretty obvious to me, sorry. 😉

  11. @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    The steer is photographed among a group of smaller, younger cattle so that does make the size more apparent and someone exaggerated but from all of the reports I’ve seen this is genuine.

  12. Jen says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa: There’s video out there too. This appears to be legit, with the caveats mentioned that the presence of a different breed makes the size seem even more significant.

  13. John Peabody says:

    One humorous photo, and people are assuming it’s a conspiracy? Acting superior because they ‘know’ it’s fake? Just glance at the photo, wrinkle exactly two muscles in a twinge of a smile, and move on. Enjoy the OTB pithy headline.

  14. John,

    I just figured people would appreciate a post that wasn’t about Donald Trump.

  15. JohnMcC says:

    @Doug Mataconis: And just WHY do you have such deep hatred of our President that it has driven you to looking at pictures of cows? Answer that, eh?

  16. Tyrell says:

    That reminds me of the giant water buffalo in “Kong: Skull Island”*
    “you shouldn’t have come here”

  17. Franklin says:

    Thank you Doug for giving me an excuse to watch that old commercial. Classic!

  18. just nutha says:

    A giant water buffalo in Kong:Skull Island tells people “you shouldn’t have come here?” That IS a new twist on the story. Maybe I should watch it after all. I thought it was just another Kong retread. (I did like Jack Black in the remake, though. Good character.)

  19. Tyrell says:

    @just nutha: That was a quote from the amazing John Reilly (Hank) in the movie. “Skull Island” had some good points and visual effects. Kong is a good and helps the people. Story had some crazy stuff.
    “You shouldn’t have come here – you’re all going to die”