Last week, a certain bovine in western Australia grabbed all the headlines. Knickers, a Holstein Friesian breed, stands at 194cm – a 6’4” big guy. He also weighs in at over a tonne. He was the biggest story out of Australia, but as it happens, Knickers is neither that big nor a cow as many people assumed. This picture taken of Knickers was of him standing next to a herd of Wagyu cattle – who generally top out at about five feet.
Still, 6’4” is no joke. To his credit, Knickers is larger than the average Holstein mostly due to his age. At seven years old, he is three years older than the average steer, which would be sent to the slaughterhouse by age four, and Holsteins are more commonly bred for dairy. He’s the tallest Holstein in Australia, but he’s not the tallest bovine around. Chianinas are the heaviest and tallest cattle breed, with castrated males like Knickers topping out at two metres (6’7”) tall.
After becoming an internet sensation, other farmers are claiming to have one-upped Knickers. A Canadian farmer, Karl Schoenrock, claims his Holstein steer Dozer is a whole inch taller than Knickers. He runs an animal sanctuary and petting farm in Manitoba called Kismet Creek Farm. Dozer is lovingly referred to as a gentle giant by his owners.
Thanks to his size, Knickers could not fit through processing machines at the abattoir, so instead, he helps guide the cattle on Geoff Pearson’s farm. The steer helps the other cattle learn how to graze and feed, acting as the “coach.” The Guinness World Record for tallest Holstein is 193cm; so while he is claimed to be the tallest in the world, official verification will confirm his status among the bovine elite. Either way, he’s the biggest one in our heart.