'Our gentle giant': Meet Henry the incredibull two-tonne Waikato steer video

TOM LEE FAIRFAX MEDIA NZ

Henry the two tonne steer is Phil and Myra Hill's gentle giant.

Henry the steer from Paeroa is a whopping two tonnes and makes other bulls look like kittens.

He's been suspected of being part buffalo and is easily mistaken for a rhinoceros or an elephant from behind.

His owners, Phil and Myra Hill, are dairy farmers on Awaiti Road. The couple put Henry's size down to genetics.

Instead of a cat, Phil and Myra Hill have Henry, who is good mates with their grandchildren, Maddy, left, and Breanna Hill.
TOM LEE/FAIRFAX NZ

Instead of a cat, Phil and Myra Hill have Henry, who is good mates with their grandchildren, Maddy, left, and Breanna Hill.

"Everyone who meets our gentle giant is awed by him," Myra said.

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His father was a standard sized murray grey bull and his mother a big friesian cow.

Compared to potentially the world's smallest bull, Charlie of Waitomo, Henry is a behemoth.
DOMINICO ZAPATA/FAIRFAX NZ

Compared to potentially the world's smallest bull, Charlie of Waitomo, Henry is a behemoth.

"He stands taller than my six-foot hubby and is massive."

He can't be weighed, but stock agents estimate him to be around two tonnes – more than double the weight of a good-sized fully grown steer.

Henry was born in 2006.

Maddy Hill, nine, left, and Breanna Hill, 12, have a cuddle with Henry, their grandparents' pet steer.
TOM LEE/FAIRFAX NZ

Maddy Hill, nine, left, and Breanna Hill, 12, have a cuddle with Henry, their grandparents' pet steer.

"I named him Henry because the first Hill on our farm was Phil's grandfather Henry, and Henry was our first murray grey.

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"He rapidly became a favourite with us and the grandchildren and no way was he being sold or eaten."

Difficulty during calving - Henry's feet were tucked under - meant he had to be hand-reared.

From behind, Henry looks a bit like an elephant or a rhino.
TOM LEE/FAIRFAX NZ

From behind, Henry looks a bit like an elephant or a rhino.

"I had him over a hay bale for a few days to help straighten his feet," Myra said.

"He quickly became too large to go up the loading ramp, let alone on a truck, and so he became our dear pet Henry.

"We can't have cats because our grandson is highly allergic, so we have Henry."

True to his size, Henry makes a big mess in the paddock, Maddy Hill says.
TOM LEE/FAIRFAX NZ

True to his size, Henry makes a big mess in the paddock, Maddy Hill says.

He has a big appetite, satisfied mainly by hay and grass, Phil said.

"He is extremely quiet natured ... my granddaughter Breanna used to ride him.

"All the bulls try and take him on and bang him around. It's uncanny, because they don't usually pick on steers, but I suppose it's his size – he's a challenge."

He keeps to himself mostly, especially if there is a bull in the paddock, Phil said.

"He's never showed any aggression - bellowed or anything.

"He's truly a lovely animal. He just likes me patting him."

Henry probably won't grow any taller, but he will continue to get fatter, Phil said.

"His muscles are starting to go. His weight will get him in the end."

Phil dug a hole on the farm for Henry years ago, thinking his feet would not be able to cope with his weight. He said steers don't usually get a chance to live past three.

"Henry is a part of the family, though. He's my mate."

 - Stuff

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