AS you wander through the farms in Karridale your eyes are inevitably drawn to a sight which literally looms head and shoulders above the rest.
Standing tall in the fields of Fairbury farm are a herd of the world’s largest cattle which measure 2.5m to their rump according to breeders Annette and Noel Cochrane.
These immense beasts are called Chianina and originate from Tuscany where they have a long history as a haul animal.
The gentle giants can weigh up to 1800 kilograms which would make for a rather large steak if you were looking for a feed.
However, according to Mr and Mrs Cochrane, the breed would have died out after World War II if it weren’t for the discovery of their flavoursome meat.
“It’s a celebration steak, one we recommend sharing,” Ms Cochrane chuckled.
Mr Cochrane said it wasn’t uncommon to breed the Chianina with a smaller cow species, as it raises the height in the stock.
“We don’t want them to die out,” Mrs Cochrane said.
And, it was fate that seemed to have a hand in the Cochranes future becoming entwined with that of the Chianina breed.
Mrs Cochrane was first introduced to the species at the Royal Show in 1984, where they were being led around the ring.
From that moment, Mrs Cochrane said that she thought if ever she were to raise cattle it would be a Chianina, even though she though at the time that the chances of it happening were “astronomical”.
However, in 2007 when an advertisement appeared for a 50-acre farm ready for cattle and the Cochrane’s couldn’t resist the opportunity and decided to become breeders.
As far as Mrs Cochrane is aware, there is only one other farmer in the state who breed the cattle – a man by the name of Doug Corker.
So it wasn’t too much of a surprise for them to learn that it was Mr Corker who had led the Chianina cattle around the ring when Mrs Cochrane first spotted the creature all those years ago.
“They are very majestic animals in the paddock and they have a nice gait – it’s so proud,” Mr Cochrane said.
The Cochrane’s are happy for others to flock to their Fairbury farm and take in the majesty of these creatures.
For any queries about the cattle, contact Mrs and Mrs Cochrane at firstname.lastname@example.org.