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“Iceberg” potentially Australia’s largest ever ox, dressing out to 854kg

Eric Barker, 25/09/2023

Iceberg spent about 1000 days in Josie and Blair Angus’ Sondella feedlot to return a carcase weight of 854kg.

A NORTH Queensland bullock has potentially become Australia’s largest ever ox, returning a dressed carcase weight of 854kg.

Four-year-old “Iceberg” was processed at the weekend at the Angus family’s Signature Onfarm abattoir, near Clermont.

The Shorthorn x Angus x Belmont Red was bred at Carpentaria Downs in North Queensland before spending 1000 days in the company’s Sondella Feedlot – where he had reportedly become a bit of an icon.

Iceberg has been compared to another animal from the channel country called “Monkira Ox”, which was known as Australia’s largest ox and dressed out at 904kg, when converted from pounds.

However, with the Monkira Ox weight including kidney fats and skirts, the Angus family believe Iceberg may be Australia’s heaviest.

Signature Onfarm co-founder Blair Angus told Beef Central that getting to such a heavy weight in only four years was one of the most impressive features.

“We researched some of the records and there have been some heavier ones in America, but they are all 8-12 years old – this guy is about half that,” Mr Angus said.

“I don’t think we are likely to see a carcase that size again in my lifetime and I told my children they probably won’t see it in their time, so it was pretty momentous.”

With Iceberg being too big to take up a race and onto some scales, returning a liveweight was not possible. Based on an estimated dressing percentage of 60 percent he would weigh about 1423kg live.

“Considering his size, he never looked like breaking down when he was in the pens, we would hold our breath as bucked out and twisted like chainsaw,” Mr Angus said.

“But he was a very structurally sound animal.”

Iceberg kept for his hide

Mr Angus said the family decided to keep Iceberg in the feedlot for so long because they liked his coat and they knew it would become a good hide.

“He was a really nice blue roan, so we decided to keep him for his hide and he ended up spending just over 1000 days in the feedlot,” he said.

“The hide has gone to a local guy who tans hides for us and it will become a massive floor mat.”

With the hide going straight into an ice bath and off for tanning, the dimensions of the rug are not yet clear.

Some cuts to be auctioned off

From all reports the carcase performed well on the eating quality indicators, with low ossification and high marbling.

Combining a good eating experience and the novelty of such a large animal, the Angus family has decided to auction off some of Iceberg’s cuts.

Mr Angus said given it is only one animal there will be a limitation to how far and wide the meat can be shared. He said some of the loins were already in the dry ageing room.

“We have eaten some of the skirts and other parts and they were just incredible,” Mr Angus said.

“We will portion it out as much as we can, but if you can imagine the cube rolls will be between 12 and 13kg each – so every steak will be a share steak.”

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Comments

  1. Nathan Diefenbach, 29/09/2023

    He would’ve been that soft, I could have legged him with the back of my knife.
    I would check Nolan’s records. We done two bullocks in 2000 that dressed 900+ kg.
    If I remember correctly.
    But yes he is a monster bullock.

  2. David Connellan, 26/09/2023

    Not even close. Beef City feedlot (then owned by Elders) had a bullock that dressed over 900kg back in the 1980s. He was one of a pen of three pets that were in the feedlot for years to show the visitors.
    Richard Sturgess, Ross Keane or Mike Drommel may be able to verify this.

  3. Graham johns, 25/09/2023

    Thats right David the monkira ox was grass fed and walked to the saleyard a trip of over 1200 km which took him 2 years because he was left behind half way down the Strezlecki track and picked up the following year.
    But channel country people know that the channels around monkira are better at fattening than a feedlot.
    Sorry thats not the record, its still held by the monkira ox.

  4. David Moore, 25/09/2023

    Monkira Ox was grass fed and walked to the rail trucking yards

  5. Allan Bloxsom, 25/09/2023

    You need a bigger smoker Blair!

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