Hefty Herbie could be a record-setter

17:00, Jul 28 2012
HOLY COW: Herbie and Peter Henderson.

Herbie Henderson could be New Zealand's largest highland steer.

Do you know a steer larger than Herbie? Email reporters@press.co.nz

BIG BOVINE: Herbie could be New Zealand's biggest steer.

But the 11-year-old beast has outgrown weight crates and cannot fit into a stock truck, making it near impossible to prove his true size.

Herbie is the last of three highland steer Peter and Jan Henderson bought almost a decade ago.

The other two ended up as dinner at their Central Canterbury farm filling numerous chest freezers.


With horns spanning about 155 centimetres, Herbie has to turn his head to get into the Henderson's stock yards.

He is too big to fit into the cattle race.

''Steers do generally grow quite big,'' Jan Henderson said.

''But I can't say I have ever seen one quite as big as Herbie before.''

Rural Livestock stock agent John Honeybone said that while Herbie was not the largest breed of steer he had encountered, he was ''certainly the biggest highland steer'' he had seen.

Herbie's placid nature and leadership qualities have so far kept the butcher at bay.

He runs with the Henderson's other cattle and has established his place as the herd leader.

He is currently  ''babysitting'' a young steer by keeping it company in the field, Jan Henderson said.

Despite Herbie's placid nature, he has not been handled.

''He is very quiet, but you don't want to get too close, he's definitely not a pet,'' she said.

Giant New Zealand cattle have held previous records.

Until his death in 2004, Shannon-based South Devon Steer Big Red was the world's largest steer.

He stood more than 180 centimetres high, and weighed more than 2000 kilograms.

The Press