Creature Feature: New Jersey Calf

The newest addition to the Farm Yard, a Jersey calf, arrived at the museum three weeks ago. The Montessori Farm School in Hillsborough, NC donated the calf to us after they found out that Moo, our Belted Galloway Steer, was no longer with us (click here to read about Moo the Steer). We were delighted to have such a generous offer, and were also pleased that Chummix the Goat (who used to live with Moo) would soon have another companion. Needless to say, the keepers were also excited about receiving a cute, playful little calf that would have to be bottle fed twice a day once he arrived.

Our Jersey calf was born in September 2007 and was only 3 weeks old when he arrived at the museum. He settled into his new home quickly and was soon running and jumping around the exhibit, and drinking his bottles of milk with vigor. At first, it seemed that Chummix the Goat wasn’t quite sure what to make of the new playful addition, as he had been used to a steer weighing about 1,600 lbs. that was usually eating or laying down. But it did not take long before Chummix became used to the calf’s antics, and soon they were playing together and chasing each other around the exhibit!

When the calf first arrived, he was placed on a diet of milk replacer twice a day. He is currently still drinking the milk, and visitors can watch him get bottle fed at our Farm Yard Up-Close program every evening at 4:30 (except Thursdays). Shortly after he arrived, we started offering the calf sweet feed (an enriched grain feed) and hay in order to slowly wean him off the milk replacer. Eventually, he will eat an adult diet of steer chow and hay.

Right now the calf only weighs about 125 lbs., but has plenty of growing left to do. At his full size, he will weigh over 1,000 lbs.! As you may have also noticed, the calf still needs a name. In appreciation for their donation, we asked the children from the Montessori Farm School to submit potential names to the museum. The animal keepers narrowed the list down to three, and now we need you to vote for your favorite name! Stay tuned to find out what the calf’s name will be in a future post.

The picture on the right shows Chummix the Goat playing with the new calf.

To learn more about the Jersey cattle breed, go to

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