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Meet Rufous: He is very social, enjoys hay and is fond of back scratches

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications
Photos by: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Woodland Park Zoo

Ahem, drum roll please... Meet Rufous!

Rufous is the newest member of the Family Farm. This miniature Jersey cow is just 9 months old, but he has already become a barnyard favorite. Right now he weighs about 415 lb, but he'll be full grown at about 3 years old and could weigh between 1000-1200 lb. His tawny red fur is especially handsome.

His main diet is Timothy Hay, a high fiber basic grass hay. The young cow enjoys playing with and eating his browse, fresh edible plants provided by his keepers. Rufous received a Christmas tree, which he nibbled on and also turned into a sparring partner. Sparring is definitely one of his favorite pastimes, a natural behavior for young bull calves. He pushes his ball around the yard with his forehead and feet. Keepers also hung a jolly ball in the barn for Rufous to knock around.

Like his barn-mates, miniature donkeys Sam and Rico, Rufous likes to run and jump and kick, but the donkeys mostly keep their distance, so we are working on getting Rufous another young steer companion.

Rufous is playful and sweet with his keepers and enjoys chin rubs and back scratches. He seems to enjoy being brushed and he uses the large car wash brush in the yard to rub against, too.

Keeper Diane Abbey tells us he's very social and curious. He greets guests and often stands for petting and occasionally gives a surprise lick! 

Next time you stop by Family Farm, make sure to say hello to Rufous!


SJSiff said…
I'm so excited! I know a cow is hardly exotic, but that's my three-year-old's favorite animal! We're planning to come to the zoo next week, and Rofous will be our first stop.
Unknown said…
I want to meet Rofous too. Thank you for sharing this post.

- Gustavo Woltmann