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Blog At the Museum

MLS Mailbag No. 8

Hello and welcome to a regular feature on in which I take your questions about the Museum of Life and Science and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully, the final product is insightful to some degree, and we have a little fun along the way!

We’re back from our summer MLS Mailbag hiatus! Thanks for your patience AND your questions so far this autumn. Let’s get into it.

When’s the chicken coop going to be ready? — janet_snakehole108 on Instagram

GREAT TIMING! (And great handle. I’m a big Parks and Recreation gal myself.) The chicken coop is officially open for chicken business!

In case you missed it, the hen house in The Farmyard was closed from just before July 4 until September 21 for a necessary facelift. While our chickens spent their summer behind the scenes, Museum Exhibits Team extraordinaire Scott “Skinny” Eney worked hard to design and build a completely updated home for them.

Chicken coop plans!

With the chickens fully moved back into their domain, you may notice a few key differences, namely that it’s bigger and that you’re able to get a little closer. Skinny’s gift to our egg-laying sisters also removed and replaced all the old, decaying wood and wire, and added a ROOF! That’s right, the old coop lacked a fully functional roof, but no more.

Skinny sitting in the new coop with the hens! If you see Skinny around campus, please shower him with compliments!

Make sure you stop by The Farmyard to check out the hens’ new crib.

The girls, making sure their new home is up to SCRATCH. Get it??


How long is the dinosaur beer going to be available? — lesliefann on Instagram

Have y’all (or at least those of you who are of legal drinking age) tried Citrusaurus Wheat yet? Our collaboration with Bond Brothers Beer Company is a deliciously crushable citrus wheat beer made from malted barley, malted wheat, and a citrusy German hop called Mandarina Bavaria. The beer is 5.8% ABV, with big grapefruit aroma up front, some crackery malt sweetness through the beer, and a pleasant grapefruit and lime finish.

Whether you’ve tried it and loved it or have yet to give it a go, I have good news. Citrusaurus Wheat is here to stay as a permanent fixture on draft at both Hops & Vine here at the Museum and at Bond Brothers’ taproom in Cary.

Check out a short behind the scenes video here. Read more about the ongoing partnership here.


When do you replenish the fossil dig area? How often? — gstreko on Instagram

The Museum’s fossil dig site gives aspiring paleontologists of all ages the chance to try their hands at history hunting. Filled with dirt that has been trucked in from an area in Eastern North Carolina that’s rich with marine fossils, the dig site is turned weekly by our exhibits team and replenished with new material monthly.

The material is anywhere from 5 million to 23 million years old — too young for dinosaur fossils — and is packed with the remains of ancient sharks, fish, coral, and shells. However, just like a real paleontological dig, there’s no guarantee of Cenozoic treasures so roll up those sleeves and see what you can unearth! (For the record, I’ve got a pretty cool little collection going on my desk, so there’s plenty of finds to be found.)


Who weighs more, Gus the bear or Dusty the bull? — oceanwolf88 on Instagram

I immediately went to Senior Director of Animal Care Sherry Samuels with this one, and here’s what she had to say.

“Not even close. Gus weighs under 200 kg and the bulls are well over 300 kg each.”

There you have it. Dusty and Dallas are the undisputed heavyweight champs! 💪🐮


That’s all for now, y’all! I hope you will join me next time for more questions and more answers.

If you have a question you’d like answered or are lamenting your NFL team’s 0-4 start to the season as well, you can drop us a note here.