Norman's the heaviest steer in the West

Norman's the heaviest steer in the West

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Robert Atkins feeding carrots to Norman the steer. Check him out at this year's Woolorama.

Robert Atkins feeding carrots to Norman the steer. Check him out at this year's Woolorama.

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Norman the steer is set to be a top attraction for attendees.

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MOVE over Bart, we have a huge steer coming to Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama on March 6-7 that could steal the show.

Knickers might be the tallest steer ever discovered, however Norman could be the heaviest.

Rob Atkins and wife Barbara, from Dumbleyung, 40 kilometres east of Wagin, are the proud owners of Norman, a six-year-old Friesian cross steer, weighing close to 1.5 tonnes.

Norman was purchased from the Harts in Redmond and was one of twins.

Mr Atkins said if Knickers, the tallest steer was his twin, it would be a one in a million chance.

Norman's weight is unknown; however, he is both very tall and hefty set - so much so that when getting up from a sitting position, he has to rock back and forth several times to get enough momentum to stand.

Mr Atkins' stock agent said he was by far one of the biggest beasts he had ever seen and it would take a specialised processing facility to handle him, however Norman is not for sale.

He will see his days out on the farm with the Atkins family and his mate, Ed, also a steer.

In 2014 Norman was just a normal-sized calf when Mr Atkins decided his daughter-in-law Lisa needed a new pet after losing her beloved dog to cancer.

So, he loaded up the two calves, Norman and Ed and delivered them to a much-smitten Lisa.

The pair enjoyed more "dinners than dinner times", according to Mr Atkins, with Lisa spoiling her beloved and now inseparable steers until they got too big to manage, before she returned them, with strict instructions not to sell at any price.

Mr Atkins has always bought or rescued cattle that are neglected to get them into good condition and give them a good life before sending them onto the market.

He said food makes all animals quiet and while Norman is not halter trained he is calmed by food and can be hand-fed, especially with his favourite treat - carrots.

Mr Atkins has had a long association with Woolorama in the Shearing Section, winning many competitions.

When he started shearing in 1970, he was young, short of stature and only weighed 42kg.

His boss while training told him it would "hurt too much".

Not one to be deterred, he quickly learnt to shear 'smarter not harder' and mastered a better technique that allowed him to stay on top of the game for another 30 years.

Two years later he won the prestigious Waroona Show shearing competition - beating the very same boss.

Mr Atkins said it was one of the best days of his life, along with the time at the Perth Royal Show when being interviewed and filmed while shearing for a group of American VIPs during their evening meal.

He will take Norman and Ed to the Woolorama to entertain and delight the crowds - he is a sight to see.

All proceeds from the 'guess his weight competition' will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Centre-WA.

For more information, about the research centre contact the fundraising and bequests co-ordinator on 6500 5501 or email fundraising@ bcrc-wa.com.au

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