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Citywide News

Posted on: February 27, 2019

Baby cows get their names: Gloria and Gus!

THORNES WIN 1

THORNES WIN 2

Couples are famous throughout American history.

History has given us Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz (Lucy and Ricky, I Love Lucy). Ross and Rachel (David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston, Friends). Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford (George and Louise, The Jeffersons). Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows (Ralph and Alice, The Honeymooners). Even Homer and Marge of The Simpsons.

To all of those, the Heritage Park Petting Farm now adds “Gloria and Gus,” thanks to the Thorne Family – little Levi, 3, mom Miranda and dad Andrew. New baby miniature cows – one a boy and one a girl – have now been officially named.

The Thornes were the winners of the City of Taylor’s “Name the Baby Cows Contest” held in January. Gloria and Gus were the two names submitted in Levi’s name, who enjoys the YouTube hit series “Ryan’s Toy Review” where the family had remembered the names.

During the contest period, the petting farm received hundreds of entries. In all, 124 names of girls and 123 names of boys were submitted. Everyone who submitted an entry received a free pass to visit the Celebrate Spring program at the farm on April 27.

After the submission deadline, an internal committee of a half-dozen members began to whittle them down. They started by putting individual lists including six names each and then comparing notes to look for commonality. Eventually, those lists were honed down to a handful of sets before Gloria and Gus were unanimous agreed upon.

One key measuring stick was used: We wanted names that were easily pronounced by both staffers and visitors to the farm, especially because so many very small children come to the facility.

Gloria and Gus were only entered by the Thornes, which was another plus. Many entries into the contest were same-name duplicates like Ricky (five) and Rosie (seven).

The Thornes visited the Petting Farm Tuesday (February 26) to meet Gloria and Gus, along with the head of the farm, Melanie Shihadeh, Mayor Rick Sollars and Golf, Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Dobek, among others. Little Levi is very inquisitive and especially loves petting farm settings. His mother said that they often visit The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village because loves the petting farm there, too.

For naming the cows, the family received a free Family Pass to the petting farm for a year. Their names will also be displayed in the barn, along with the names of Taylor’s new favorite couple.

The City purchased the miniature cattle late last year. They are the perfect fit for small acreage farms. According to experts in the field, they require one-third the feed of standard size animals. Because of their small size, miniature cattle can be handled easily and efficiently without the need for special equipment or special fencing. They are efficient feed converters and easy on the land and pasture.

Some of the benefits to miniature cattle are:

  • Ideal for small acreage
  • Efficient feed converters
  • Docile and easy to handle
  • Kept on as little as an acre
  • Can be as small as 36 inches at maturity
  • Easy on facilities and equipment
  • Easy on the land and pasture

Miniature cattle also offer a great way for children to become involved in 4-H Club-type campaigns and are ideal in learning environments.

When it comes to upkeep, their small size doesn’t lend itself to numerous problematic medical conditions, unlike their much larger and more complex counterparts. Smaller size cows only need minor adjustments in regards to their feeding and care, and they really make for good pets, because they are very gentle by nature. Experts say that petting zoo managers love miniature cows.

Gloria and Gus have adjusted well to their new settings. Gloria was more shy then Gus at first, but has come out of her shell. Both are now extremely comfortable around people, something that everyone will see as the Petting Farm moves into its warm weather schedule in the spring.

THORNES WIN 1

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