APSU donates cows to Nashville Zoo in breeding exchange


On Friday, Sept. 3, APSU donated three Belted Galloway female cows to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere.

Don Sudbrink, professor of agriculture, said Belted Galloways are a rare heritage breed of cattle from Scotland.

The cattle are very hardy and used to living in poor upland pastures and windswept moorlands of the region.

He said they have a very good temperament.

They are closely related to the Galloway breed of the British Isles, but they have a pronounced white stripe down their middle which reportedly comes from a cross with Dutch Belted cattle. “They have exceptionally lean tasteful meat that is highly regarded in the lean meat markets,” Sudbrink said.

Sudbrink said the Nashville Zoo asked APSU for three heifers, young female cows, for their Old Tennessee farm exhibit at the Grassmere historic farm. “The zoo was interested in displaying heritage breeds of livestock to show visitors the historic importance of area animals.”

The zoo’s veterinarian, Sally Nofs, asked to either buy the cows or have a donation agreement with the zoo to include a sign recognizing the donation or a breeding exchange. “[This exchange] has really worked out well for APSU in that we now have a zoo veterinarian contact that out pre-vet students can learn from.”

Nofs wanted three heifers because recently a cow died of old age at the zoo and their middle-aged steer was “lonely.”

Nofs is coming to APSU on Thursday, Oct. 14, to speak with argiculture and pre-vet students. The students attending will have a chance to ask her questions. Sudbrink said later this semester, students will tour the Nashville Zoo and Nof’s facilities. “Hopefully, this could lead to some pre-vet students interning at the zoo in the future.”

The breeding agreement includes the exchange of the first, third and fifth offspring produced from the exchange, a typical agreement the zoo works out with its cooperators. “This will help bring new genetics into our working herd at the APSU farm.” This breeding exchange helps with the sustainability of the herd at APSU. TAS

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