New equipment helps Nashville Zoo care for farm animals

Nashville Zoo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville Zoo is home to more than 3,000 animals including cows. And, a new piece of equipment is making it easier to take care of their heavier animals.

The Grassmere property that the zoo sits on used to be farmland, and there are still farm animals that are cared for on site.

“Out here at the Grassmere property we have three female Belted Galloways, which were made famous by Andrew Jackson. He brought them over,” explained Nate Morris, Lead Keeper.

When you weigh 1,400 lbs. a normal scale isn’t going to cut it. A farm scale is needed, “To be able to get a weight on them, allows us to be able to take better care of them, especially in their older age. It’s more information for us to treat them to the best of our abilities.”

Morris continued, “We walk them through (the equipment) right before we put them to pasture for the day and weigh them every single day.”

Using this equipment is now routine. “The more we do it, just like anything, the better you get at it. The more comfortable you get at it. That’s why we do it every single day. They will do it multiple times a day if you asked them to.”

Another way keepers take care of the Belted Galloways is by making sure their pastures aren’t overfed.

“A 1,400 pound cow does eat a lot,” Morris said, “To sustain that body weight you have to eat a lot of grass, remember they are herbivores. That’s a lot of salad that they got to eat.”

And speaking of salad, these girls do have a favorite treat. “Alf cubes. It’s basically sugar grass.”

News 2 has partnered with Nashville Zoo to bring you weekly segments of Zoopalooza. You can watch them on News 2 on Good Morning Nashville on Saturday and right here on WKRN.com.

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