Grazing Cows

2. Eat

Cows eat grass and absorb the nutrients during digestion.  These nutrients are used in the cow’s body to make milk.

Cows have a special stomach system, which consists of four stomach compartments, to help them digest grass properly.

  • Cows eat grass without chewing it properly. Upon being swallowing, the chewed grass goes to the first two stomach compartments, called the rumen and the reticulum. Here it is broken down into cud.
  • The cow brings the cud up and chews it again. Animals that chew cud are called ruminants. You may see cows munching for a long time without seeming to eat anything; this is when they are chewing the cud.
  • When the cud is swallowed, it goes through the next two stomachs, where water and some nutrients are absorbed. The cud then moves to the abomasum, where digestion actually occurs.