During the entire month of November, the Minnesota Zoo will be sharing stories of the many rescued and rehabilitated animals that we care for. All of our animals receive amazing care from zoo staff, volunteers and community members. All of this work is made possible because of YOUR amazing support – thank you! Check back daily as we feature a new story from around the Zoo.
It’s probably fair to say that the Zoo’s Jersey cow, “Olivia,” has seen A LOT of personal care from her amazing team of farm zookeepers and veterinarians this year. Olivia, a milking cow, was born at the Zoo in June, 2013. One morning earlier this year, zookeepers discovered that she had somehow broken her front leg. The Zoo’s talented team of veterinarians anesthetized her, set her leg, and casted it – a cast that she wore for three months. At the time she broke it, she was in the first stages of pregnancy. Once she was out of her cast, Olivia had to stay clear of the other calves for awhile in order to make sure her leg completely healed – and heal, it did. She calved on July 1 and has had no ill effects from the break. Make sure to stop by and see Olivia (who is pregnant with her second calf!) outside in the pasture or inside in her stall before the end of November when the Wells Fargo Family Farm closes for the season (farm reopens in the spring).
Did you know? Many people think Jersey cows look like deer, especially when they’re first born. Typically a cow will milk for about 10 months after she has a calf, and then will dry up/quit milking to prepare her for having her next one. While milking, cows eat alfalfa hay and a pelleted grain mix to provide them with the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals they need to help them produce a rich milk.