Posts Tagged ‘steer’

by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.
Tags: , , , , ,

Signs of the Season: Year 2

December 10th, 2013

Last year, it was Misha calling in the cooler weather. This year, it’s been the two big guys in the farmyard acting silly that let’s us know the crisp fall air is here to stay. Both Max and Lightning really seem to like playing with keepers much more once September and October roll in. You’ve seen Lightning play fetch with his Jolly Ball before, but did you know that Max will play Tag?

YouTube Preview Image

 

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  1. very intersting

    Posted by Gor Isaverdyan

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

QuikPic: Max gets weighed

March 1st, 2013

The Keepers, have been using the new scale in the farmyard to get weights on the animals. That means a lot of training for Max: getting a leash on; walking “nicely” without pulling Kent around; no side field trips to eat plants; get all four feet on the scale and hold still… Success has occurred. Any guesses as to how much the heaviest animal at the Museum weighs?

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  1. 1200 lbs? What is that, like 550 kilos?

    Posted by Leslie
  2. Bonus info: When Max stood on the scale the plate noticibly lowered itself and I have NEVER seen it do that before.

    Posted by Jill
  3. How much do the bear’s weigh versus Max?

    Posted by dj
  4. Director Comment :

    Currently, Max weighs about 764 Kg (almost 1,700 pounds). Mimi, our oldest best, weighs about 160 Kg- (about 350 pounds)

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  5. Wow..does this mean Max’s weight is more than the combined weight of all four bears? I remember seeing a keeper’s blog of him being bottle fed!!

    Posted by dj
  6. How does Max’s weight compare to Mr. Mooster? And how does it compare to an average jersey steer of his age? Just curious.

    Posted by Kathy
  7. Director Comment :

    Kathy and DJ:
    Max does weigh more than all four bears combined.

    We did not have the scale when Moo, a belted galloway, was at the Museum. I’d have to think that Moo weighed more though. As for Max, I think he’s on the big side for Jersey boys.

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  8. Congrats Kent (and Max)!

    Posted by Kristen

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

It’s the Little Things

February 23rd, 2013

Our Jersey steer, Max, is a picky eater. Unlike most bovine, which will eat anything you hand them, Max really only eats his hay and steer chow (breakfast cereal for cattle). Keepers Kent and Jill and I have been working extra hard since last summer to sneak extra pieces of training foods into his giant mouth, just to get him to try something new.

For training reasons, it’s a good idea for Max to learn to eat foods that are more portable than an armload of hay. We’ve been the most successful thus far with dried fruits, but only if Max is in the mood. Usually, Max takes a tiny nibble of the new treat and turns his nose up at it, if he tries it at all. The rest of the farmyard animals (pigs and Ducky, included!) are happy to much down a “cookie” that’s specially made for farm animals, while Max fires them back out of his mouth covered in steer spit without even tasting them.

Until recently, anyway. Here’s a short, shaky cell phone video of Max FINALLY trying (and liking) a farmyard cookie…or three.

YouTube Preview Image

 

Please don’t feed the animals anything! Even if it seems harmless, like loose hay off the ground or grass or leaves, could potentially make them very ill. Leave feeding the animals to us keepers, it’s the one part of our job that doesn’t involve cleaning poop!

If you want to see what our animals eat up close, become a Museum of Life and Science member and sign up for a Bears Up Close or a Behind the Scenes Tour, they’re wicked awesome!

 

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.
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QuikPost:Max Scratches

November 21st, 2012

Today we used the rake for another purpose

Join the conversation:

  1. What are the mats in the fence used for?

    Posted by Krista
  2. Keeper Comment :

    We attach those to posts in the yards or wrap them around trees. They’re rubbing mats for the animals. I believe these ones are specifically called “Itchin’ Posts”

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

Farmyard Pumpkin Fest 2012

November 8th, 2012

Only a couple days after we were given that truckload of giant pumpkins, I answered a radio call from Sherry telling me to drive the gator very carefully so I wouldn’t spill the cargo (I didn’t spill any).

more pumpkins

The pumpkin chariot

With our Quarantine stall in the Farmyard already full of pumpkins, something needed to be done to whittle down the collection.

The result: Pumpkin Fest 2012

piggy

Miss Piggy rarely climbs the fence, but pumpkins are a special occasion

ducky

Ducky likes to eat the seeds

There was even some pumpkin smashing!

pumpkin smashing

Jennifer (Exhibits Department) was in the Farmyard and volunteered to help smash some pumpkins.

goats donkey

The little goats and Lightning chow down. They had orange noses the next day.

max chum

Max and Chummix like to eat the guts of the pumpkins.

happy goat

Chummix seemed pleased.

alpacas

The alpacas haven’t gotten into the spirit just yet. Don’t worry, though, we have plenty more pumpkins.

 

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  1. Love these!

    Posted by Ranger Ro

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

I Spy

September 9th, 2012

Have you ever looked closely at a goat or sheep and noticed their weird rectangular eyes? I hear guests commenting on them every few weeks; some people love them, some people are disturbed by them, I think they’re awesome!

Sheep goat eyes

Mutton Sheep, Rocky Goat, and Chummix Goat.

Ungulates (hooved animals) are prey animals and need to have a great field of vision to avoid being snuck up on by a predator while they’re grazing. The rectangular pupil of the sheep and goats allow them to see in nearly a full circle around them: 320-340 degrees! This has some disadvantages, though. The flattened pupil disallows goats and sheep to look upwards or downwards without raising or lowering their heads. This is why, if you reach out to pet a goat’s head, they’ll often step back and look up at your hand. They can’t see you when you’re directly above them.

optifade

© 2011 W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
Human versus Ungulate Field of Vision

Equine, cattle and pigs have large eyes with round pupils on the sides of their heads, which gives them around 300 degrees of vision but they can see a little better above and below their eye level than goats and sheep can. They still need to raise or lower their heads to gauge distance above and below eye level because depth perception exists only where the vision from both eyes cross. With one eye on each side of the head, the area in front of the animal where the vision crosses (called binocular vision) is fairly small: 20-60 degrees for sheep and goats, and 60 degrees for equine, cattle and pigs. These animals also have blind spots directly in front of their face and directly behind their back legs. This is why walking behind a horse or steer could get you hurt. They can hear you back there, but not see you. The animal may kick to protect itself.

Donkey and Steer

Lightning the Donkey and Max the Steer.

Predators don’t need to see all the way around their bodies as much as they need to be able to gauge distance in front of them. Humans and bears have eyes with round pupils on the front of their heads so that more of the vision from each eye overlaps and there’s a larger area of depth perception. Humans can see about 120 degrees around themselves but have 100 degrees of binocular vision.

bear human

Virginia bear and a human eye

Check out these other cool animal department eyes! Do you know to whom they belong?

more eyes

 

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Great Post!

    Posted by kimberly
  2. Keeper Comment :

    It’s a little late, but I’ve got to correct my post slightly.

    It turns out that cattle have rectangular pupils like sheep and goats! I thought they were round because Max’s eyes are so dark brown that the black pupil is virtually indistinguishable from the iris. However, the sunlight caught Max’s eye just right and sure enough, he also has a rectangular pupil like the sheep and goats!

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

QuikPost: what’s that on Max’s neck?

August 27th, 2012

Any guess about what that is on Max and why it’s there…

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  1. …is it something to keep Max from bending his neck/esophagus while eating?
    If this isn’t right, think I can hear lots of a’mooosing laughter!

    Posted by dj
  2. I don’t know what it is or what it is for, but it looks like it would make it harder for Max to slug you with that bony (but cute) head. How about a wattle holder?

    Posted by Laura
  3. Director Comment :

    the Neck Cradle, like an E-collar for dogs after surgery, is supposed to prevent Max from turning his head and licking a sore spot.
    This one might be a bit short for him, but it will hopefully help him heal.

    Posted by Sherry Samuels

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

The Plot Thickens…

August 7th, 2012

Scout seems to have overheard Lightning and Max plotting a few months back and Lightning and Auggie, too! It’s time for some investigation into what all the fuss is about.

Max and Ducky

What do you think all the chatter is about? Maybe our former interns were right, it is all about the sheep.

Join the conversation:

  1. Scout: “I’m just glad cows don’t fly. Hahahahahaha”

    Max: “You really quack me up.”

    Posted by Wendy
  2. It absolutely has to be about the sheep and, of course, the Alpacas. Exactly what they’re saying I can’t know but it’s probably something that they don’t want the sheep to know. Have you noticed any of the other animals talking to the sheep lately?

    Posted by Ranger Greg
  3. Just received a female 3 year old domestic bred ring tail lemur. How do I know when she is in season via behavior and physical signs? Do females make a constant purring sound during this or any other circumstances? She was parent raised for the first 8 months.
    thanks for any input…i have experience with prosimians but not this species

    Posted by juliann
  4. Director Comment :

    To ask us questions directly, email us directly thru the museum’s website: ncmls.org
    also, training class: http://www.durrell.org/Training/Courses/Captive-Care-and-Conservation-of-Callitrichids–Lemurs—–/

    Posted by Sherry Samuels

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

QuikPic: Lightning and Max

November 27th, 2011

Sarah shared this photo with me of  Max and Lightning  (I love that Dr. Cannedy calls him Lightbulb).

Anyone want to share what they think the boys below are thinking?

 

Join the conversation:

  1. So Max, what do you think the humans, think we are thinking??

    Posted by Mike
  2. Looks like you interrupted them plotting a conspiracy of some kind.

    So sweet! I miss seeing them and can’t wait to introduce them to Scott!

    Posted by Leslie
  3. Lightning: “You distract her with those big brown eyes while I steal her radio.”

    He did, in fact, steal my radio and toss it into the duck yard just after I took this photo. As a general rule, I think that all of Lightning’s antics are premeditated. So clearly, he’s just trying to get Max involved this time.

    Posted by Sarah
  4. Lighting has tried several times to unionize the farm animals but has been out voted by the sheep..

    Posted by Mike

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by , Volunteer
I like volunteering to work with the animals and the Keepers (both are quite exciting and entertaining). I speak several languages including chicken. In another life I teach physics, but mostly I just love to learn (anything!) and be outdoors. When not volunteering I like to watch the bears and photograph around Explore the Wild. Follow me on Twitter @ktraphagen

Max & Molasses

April 24th, 2011

On Friday, Keeper Marilyn and I were getting enrichment ready for Max, the steer in our Farmyard. Sometimes the enrichment is some kind of scent or flavor sprayed or spread on some of the toys that we vary in the yard. This time, we thought it might be fun to try molasses and see if Max might like it. As soon as he was let out of his stall, he ran down to the pole where we had hung his toys that were smeared with molasses. He wasted no time in figuring out that he could lick off the molasses. It is always good to find special treats that the animals like because we can then use those treats when we need to train the animals to do behaviors that will help the keepers care for the animals. You can read about training here and here.

YouTube Preview Image

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  1. We had a wedding ceremony outside of the BFH on Saturday evening. After the bride made her way down the aisle and the ceremony began, Max started ringing his cowbell. It provided a lovely musical accompaniment to the couple’s wedding. He stopped when the ceremony was over. :-)

    Posted by Leslie

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