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Here's The Deal With The Smaller Cows Surrounding The Huge Cow

Yes, we all love Knickers. But how tall are the smaller cows surrounding him?

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Hello! If you, like me, have been on the internet today, you will have seen people talking about the enormous Australian steer Knickers.

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You might have even had a conversation about him in real life, I don't know. But here's what I do know: Knickers is a 7-year-old Holstein Friesian steer.

He is 194cm tall (just under 6'4"), weighs almost 1.4 tonnes, and lives on a cattle feedlot in Western Australia. He received a last-minute reprieve from the abattoir because he is too darn big.

And people online are going absolutely mad for him.

There are absolute units looking at this guy thinking “look at this absolute unit”. https://t.co/tZv8ds1oPX

Everyone is just like, damn, that cow is big.

Damn that is one huge cow. this is why I buy internet on flights. I almost saw that 6 hours after you guys did

Knickers has traction most influencers can only dream of.

Meet Knickers, Australia’s biggest steer! He’s 194cm tall, weighs 1.4t and has been saved from the abattoir because he simply won’t fit through the doors. 🐄 https://t.co/uKKlxIpDLm

Australia's national broadcaster, the ABC, first reported on Knickers way back in October — but it wasn't until a month later that the enormous steer blew up online, because the internet is a weird place.

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But people have been asking: How tall are the cows surrounding Knickers? *thinking face emoji*

@david_j_roth How do we know that those aren't just tiny cows surrounding him to make him look large?

Things in this life I must know 1. Why is that cow so big 2. Are the other cows smaller than normal

Is Knickers really that big or are the cows around him just small? How tall are they? My friend...I have an answer to this question.

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Knickers' owner Geoff Pearson told BuzzFeed News the cows surrounding him are Wagyus and they are about 1.1 metres (3'6") tall.

So, there you go — a height difference of about 84cm (2'8"). He also said they were about 12 months old (six years younger than Knickers).

Dr David Beggs, who is a senior lecturer in cattle medicine at the Melbourne Veterinary School at the University of Melbourne, told BuzzFeed News that Holstein Friesians and Wagyus are "quite different animals".

"Wagyus are very small. Holsteins would be among the bigger breeds of cows we see in cooler climates," he said.

But before you get too skeptical — Knickers is still extremely large.

"That steer is very big, even for a Holstein," Beggs said. "He’s bigger than most Holstein bulls."

It was "unusual" to see a steer that size, but there is a relatively simple explanation: Knickers has lived to an older age than the average steer.

"Steers are castrated cattle, so they don’t tend to be kept for breeding, they tend to be slaughtered at a young age, so there’s not many steers last to that sort of an age," Beggs said.

Knickers stands 8cm shorter than the current Guinness World Record holder for "tallest steer", an Italian ox named Bellino who is 2.02 metres (6'7") tall.

Pearson said the average Holstein is about 1.6 or 1.7 metres tall.

I also regret to inform you that Knickers is not enjoying his newfound fame.

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He had "a lot of media all over him" on Wednesday as journalists visited the feedlot, Pearson said. "He’s getting a bit agitated."

Knickers is a natural leader but also a cow of contradictions, Pearson added.

"He’s a bit of a recluse, but he’s got a lot of followers. He’s potentially a proud steer because others look up to him."

Pearson missed the deluge of internet memes and commentary about Knickers — much of which simply consists of labelling the steer a "big unit" — because he does not use social media.

"Not at all," he said. Instead, Pearson discovered Knickers had gone "worldwide viral" from other people ringing him and telling him what was going on.

"We’re a bit surprised actually," he said. "I didn’t think it would gain much momentum."


Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Lane Sainty at lane.sainty@buzzfeed.com.

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