This weighty steer could be the heav­i­est in the coun­try

Taranaki Daily News - - Front Page - MIKE WAT­SON

Moove over Henry, a big fella weigh­ing in at 2.5 tonne from Taranaki just took your spot.

Henry, a mur­ray grey cross steer from Paeroa, grabbed the bovine head­lines last year when he tipped two tonne on the scales.

Now North Taranaki beef farmer Roger Honey­field has topped Henry’s weight with an un­named 8-year-old friesian cross steer that pushes the nee­dle to 2520 kilo­grammes, or 2.5 tonnes.

That’s nearly nine times heav­ier than Kon­ishiki ‘‘Meat Bomb’’ Ya­so­kichi, the heav­i­est sumo wrestler ever, and only

200kg less than a fe­male In­dian ele­phant.

Honey­field be­lieved the big an­i­mal could be heav­i­est steer in the coun­try.

In the pad­dock Honey­field’s large beast tow­ered over smaller

700kg to 800kg steers, and stands at a shade over 1.8 me­tres – higher than the top rail on the farm’s stock yards.

The steer was bought by Honey­field from the Strat­ford sa­le­yards as a ris­ing three-year-old and has been on his 900ha farm ever since.

‘‘There’s been no spe­cial treat­ment for him, he’s just lived on grass and run with the rest of the mob.’’

In fact Honey­field, with his two sons, Levi and Dy­lan, who help run the Onaero farm, haven’t got around to giv­ing the big guy a name yet.

‘‘We just call him ‘‘The Big Steer,’’ he said.

Honey­field had al­ways won­dered what own­ing a big­ger than usual steer would be like af­ter read­ing an ar­ti­cle of about a 1.8 tonne beast over­seas.

‘‘I thought at the time I’d like to have one that big one day.

‘‘And here I am with some­thing al­most twice as heavy.’’

The steer’s fu­ture is un­likely to end on the plate.

‘‘It’s be­come a hobby and I’ll keep him for an­other win­ter and see how much more he grows.

‘‘I reckon he could get up to 2.8 tonne.’’

That would put the an­i­mal at the same weight as Big Red, a 2.8 tonne devon red from Manawatu that died in 2004.

With beef prices reach­ing $3.12 a kilo­gram for two-and-half-yearolds at the Strat­ford cat­tle sale on Wed­nes­day, the big beast could fetch a good price if Honey­field ever changed his mind. But first he’d need to find some­one will­ing to take it.

He’s too wide in the hips to fit through the farm yard’s race, and many freez­ing works shy away from large an­i­mals like him, Honey­field said.

‘‘The works won’t take them over 700kg to 800kg max so he’s no use to them.

‘‘I’m not sure how he would taste ei­ther. The best meat I’ve had was from a 800kg steer.’’

The big fella is rea­son­ably docile but the other an­i­mals know who the boss is when he’s around, Honey­field said.

‘‘He’s quiet but he’s not up to the ‘pat­ting’ stage.’’

Honey­field said the steer could live to 20 years, but his legs would prob­a­bly give out be­fore then.


‘‘The Big Steer’’ is nearly the weight of an In­dian ele­phant.

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