GOULBURN has its Big Merino and Ballina the Big Prawn. While Robertson dug up the Big Potato. But none of these compare to Glencoe’s Big Moo.
Alive and breathing, he runs rings around all the other plastic and/or corrugated icons of the imagination.
Big Moo is a gentle giant — a now nine-year-old steer — who captured the hearts of his owners, Joanne and Phil Vines, in the depths of South Australia’s Lower South-East, when he was just a little calf.
A littler calf originally destined for the freezer.
“We raise calves for meat and Big Moo came to us as one of those,” Jo explained.
“He was quiet and gentle and it got to the stage where one of us said to the other ‘there is no way we can put him in the freezer’.
“And here he is nine years later,” she said.
“It was his temperament that made us keep him and then he just kept growing,” Jo laughed.
Growing beyond belief because Big Moo was born with gigantism, a random genetic condition caused by an overload of growth hormone produced by the pituitary gland.
The couple had no idea he had the condition, nor that he would grow to around 190 cm tall (he could be 5 cm each side) and weigh in a hefty 1.5 t.
His appetite is also hefty to match, and Big Moo is currently eating his way through $100 worth of lucerne, grain and supplements — every week.
“We estimate he is around 1500 kg but he is so big we can’t get him through a crush,” she laughed.