Bathing a small car…

Yes, that’s right… I said bathing a small car.  That’s because our 1,400 pound steer, Max, is almost big enough to be a small car (or at least it seems that way when you have 4 or 5 people scrubbing him down).  We give Max pretty regular baths during the warmer months of the year. He really seems to enjoy being bathed and pampered and it also serves as a fun thing for our volunteers to participate in, along withRead more

EnrichBits: Max’s Monday out– part two

EnrichBits: A monthly look at animal enrichment In the last EnrichBits post, I showed Max, our steer, getting some time outside his stall and yard on a day we were closed to vistors. He got to experience many new and enriching sights, sounds, and smells while he checked out Loblolly Park (our playground). The goal is to provide new and exciting without crossing the line into stressful, so we had quite a few animal department staff out there to helpRead more

EnrichBits: Max’s Monday out

EnrichBits: A monthly look at animal enrichment Occasionally, we’ll get the chance as animal keepers to see our animals react emphatically to a completely different change of routine and surroundings. Over the fall, the Museum was closed to visitors on Mondays, so we used this no-people-on-museum-grounds opportunity to give Max, our Jersey steer, some (unleashed) time out of his exhibit yard. We had never done enrichment like this before, and weren’t sure how Max would react. He is a bigRead more

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine . . .

Those who know me know that I’m not a big believer in signs and omens. However, I was greeted with this site on a recent morning upon entering the yard of Max the Steer. I thought maybe this was a warning about something bad, but in reality it never hit the fan and the day was uneventful. If you are not sure what you are looking at, this is the fence around the steer/goat yard and the large cooling fanRead more

EnrichBits: Roommates

EnrichBits: A monthly look at animal enrichment Enrichment is all about providing opportunities to our animals that help them to exhibit their natural behaviors. Opossums wouldn’t find many recycle bins to snooze in out in the wild ( well, at least not many bins they’d be welcome in!) but they would find a similar shaped place, like a hollow tree stump, that was a sheltered and hidden nook. Bears wouldn’t be flipping over traffic cones looking for bear chow inRead more

Max’s Red Bucket Training

I recently posted an update about our new Jersey steer, Max. Along with being taught how to walk on a leash, we have also been training him to associate a red bucket with his food. Why would we do this, you might ask? That’s a great question! Since he first arrived at the museum, Max has always been very motivated by food. He was quite eager to receive his bottles of formula when he was a calf, and still showsRead more