March 2016
Did You Know? with Mike Freidlin
We're excited to announce a new monthly addition to our regular newsletter: Did You Know? with Mike Freidlin. You may have seen his sections in our past Moos-letters, and they will now be showcasing their own spot in your inbox!

Mike Freidlin is a naturalist, athlete, vegan animal rights activist, and environmental science educator with 35 years of teaching experience. In his role as middle and high school science teacher for the Abington Heights, Pennsylvania school district. Mike acted as the Middle and High School Ecology Club Advisor, and led more than 700 student members of the Tropical Rainforest Ecology Club on trips to such destinations as Panama, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, where they learned about rainforest protection, the rights and concerns of animals and indigenous communities, and students' roles and responsibilities as global citizens. Mike has served on Board of Directors for Lackawanna Audubon Society and Save The Rainforest.

Mike is generously sharing his knowledge and expertise with the sanctuary and our supporters for all of us to benefit from the power of connecting more deeply with our planet. Enjoy!

This month's DYK deals with "cud"dling:

There is nothing better than a day at the sanctuary cuddling with animals, but this month we're referring to just plain cud. One of my favorite things at the sanctuary is spending time with those sweet, peaceful gentle giants, the cows. I've always thought that looking into the eyes of a cow is such an experience. It's as if they are using their souls to look into your soul, offering peace and comfort with their meditative gaze. However, I am going to descend a few inches from their eyes to their mouths and comment on what I am sure you have noticed, as well. Cows just keep chewing, and chewing, and chewing, and chewing. Cows actually chew in upwards of 30,000 a day! What they are chewing is cud.

There are four compartments to the cow's ONLY stomach.
1.     Rumen
2.     Reticulum
3.    Omasum
4.    Abomasum
When a cow takes a bite of that delicious grass or hay (I'm assuming. I haven't experienced the taste of grass or hay from a pasture.), it chews just enough to moisten the food. This swallowed food goes into the first section, the rumen, where it mixes with digestive liquids and is softened. The softened food is called cud, small pellets of food. This food is sent back up to be chewed again with the help of the reticulum, swallowed again, enters the omasum where the moisture is removed. Finally, the food is sent to the abomasum to be mixed with digestive enzymes, then off to the intestines.

Chewing cud is a sign of a healthy, content cow. When cows chew their cud they secrete saliva. This saliva contains a natural antacid which aids the rumen, that first compartment of the stomach. Chewing cud also allows the animal to digest and extract nutrients from foods high in cellulose, such as grasses. Sheep also can be observed at the sanctuary chewing their cud. Nothing like sitting or lying in the pasture at the sanctuary on a spring, summer, or fall day watching the sheep lying down comfortably while chewing, and chewing, and chewing, and chewing. 

Other cud chewing animals include camels, buffalo, goats, and giraffes. Sorry, no camels, buffalo, or giraffes at the sanctuary. Good thing, too. Imagine Indra and Johnny trying to care for a giraffe with a sore throat?!

This week's quiz...and it should be an easy one.
How many stomachs does a cow have?
  1. 0ne
  2. Two
  3. Three
  4. Four
The answer to last month's quiz: What do we call a group of cows?
  1. A herd
  2. A drove
  3. A team
Answer.............ALL 3 are correct!

March means spring, friends. Spring means warmer temps. Warmer temps means visits to the sanctuary.

Until next month,

Indraloka Animal Sanctuary  | Mehoopany, PA |

Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.