This weighty steer could be the heaviest in the country
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.