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?
The answer to last month's quiz:
What do we call a group of cows?
Answer.............ALL 3 are correct!
March means spring, friends. Spring means warmer temps. Warmer temps means visits to the sanctuary.
Until next month,