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Did you know that cows have 4 stomachs?

Did you know that cows have 4 stomachs?

Have you ever seen cows having lunch in a field? They may be enjoying their tasty grass, but if you tried to join them, you’d probably feel sick afterward. Most grasses are too tough for your stomach to digest properly. So how can cows get away with it? They have 4 stomachs! Well, not quite.

Have you ever seen cows having lunch in a field? They may be enjoying their tasty grass, but if you tried to join them, you’d probably feel sick afterward. Most grasses are too tough for your stomach to digest properly. So how can cows get away with it?

They have 4 stomachs!

Well, not quite. They have one big stomach, but unlike ours, its divided up into four parts, and each “stomach” has its own job.

When cows eat grass, they don’t chew it much. Most of their time is spent packing partly-chewed grass into the first and largest stomach. Once that’s full, the cow rests until she has recovered from all that eating. Then, she regurgitates the grass into her mouth and chews it up into a mush, called cud.

The cud is swallowed into the second stomach, where it’s softened even more and packed into wads of cud. Then the cud is brought back up again and chewed some more. This is repeated several times, until the cud is soft enough to move on to the third stomach.

In the third stomach, the cud is filtered and broken down even further until it is passed on to the fourth stomach, which is the most like ours. It’s in the fourth stomach that the cud is digested and all the good nutrients from the grass are absorbed into the cow’s bloodstream.

Imagine having to chew your food 40 to 60 times! It’s how cows can eat grass, but you’d probably be better off sticking with a sandwich.

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