New equipment helps Nashville Zoo care for farm animals

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Nashville Zoo is home to more than 3,000 animals, including cows. In addition, new equipment makes it easier to handle their heavier animals.

The Grassmere property on which the zoo is located was once farmland, and there are still farm animals that are cared for on site.

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

When you weigh 1,400 lbs. a normal ladder isn’t going to cut it. You need an agricultural scale, “Being able to weigh them allows us to take better care of them, especially in their old age. It is more information for us to process it to the best of our abilities.

Morris continued, “We run through them (the equipment) just before we put them out to pasture for the day and weigh them every day.”

The use of this equipment is now routine. “The more we do it, like anything, the better you get at it. The more comfortable you feel. That’s why we do it every day. They will do this several times a day if you ask them.

Another way keepers care for Belted Galloways is to make sure their pastures aren’t overfed.

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

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

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

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