Do You Know, That A Cow Chews Its Cud?
Thousands of years ago, there were certain animals who could not protect themselves against their stranger, fiercer enemies. In order to survive, they developed a special way of eating. They would snatch some food whenever possible, swallow it hastily without chewing and run away to hide. Later on when in hiding place, sitting calmly, they would chew the food at their leisure!
Our “Cud-chewing” animals are descended from these and are called “Ruminantia”. It so happens that almost the entire mammals that are most useful to man are Ruminantia. These include sheep, goats, camels, cows, llamas, deer, antelopes, and so on.
A ruminant like cow makes it possible to chew its cud. A ruminant has a complicated stomach with five compartments. These compartments are: the paunch or rumen, the honeycomb bag or reticulum, the many plies or omasum, the true stomach or abomasum, and the intestine. In each of these compartments of stomach some-thing difference is done to the food. After the food is swallowed, it is made into a coarse pellet and goes into the paunch. This is the largest compartment. In this compartment the food is moistened, and softened. It then passes into the honeycomb or reticulum. The food is made into balls or “cuds” of a convenient size.
After a ruminant has eaten, it usually lies down or rests quietly somewhere. Now it regurgitates the food from the reticulum back into the mouth. Nov the ruminant chews the cud for the first time. The food is chewed and swallowed again. This food now goes into the many plies, or third stomach. From here the food into the actual stomach. The process of digestion takes place here. The camels do not have this third stomach.
The cows do not have teeth in the upper jaw. The gum is in the form of a tough pad. This pad holds grass down across the edges of the lower front teeth. The cow uses a sideways motion of the head while grazing to cut off the grass in the manner.