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How Many Stomachs Does a Cow Have?

You may be aware that unlike humans, cows have more than one stomach. In fact, cows have four stomachs in total. However, some people may view it as one stomach with four compartments. Cows are classed as ruminates, which are a group of mammals that have evolved in order to live off plants that are difficult to digest. Grass belongs to this group of plants. 

The reason it is possible for cows to digest grass and other plants is because they are able to regurgitate and rechew their food. This allows the food to be  broken down further and for more nutrients to be extracted and absorbed into their bodies. 

Each stomach has a different name – rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum. Let’s look at the different functions of each. 

Rumen – when a cow is grazing it is firstly swallowing the grass straight down without chewing it. The rumen is the first stomach and where the swallowed grass ends up. It will then be regurgitated, chewed and re-swallowed a few times. The rumen is the largest stomach with a volume of 150-200 liters. 

Reticulum – this stomach compartment is where any foreign objects go. If the cow picks up anything it shouldn’t have while grazing it will go to the reticulum where stomach acids will break it down. 

Omasum – this is where all the water and moisture from the cows’ food is absorbed. The omasum has been characterized as a large number of leaves which provides a large absorption surface. This surface also absorbs nutrients such as potassium and sodium. 

Abomasum – this stomach compartment is the most similar to a human stomach. It is where the food is broken down by enzymes. These enzymes can digest protein and starch. In other words, anything that hasn’t been broken down earlier in the rumen will be broken down in this stomach. 

As you can see cows have a very clever way of digesting their food in a way that allows them to get the most nutrients. 

If you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to send them onto us. You can contact us by phone on (530) 949-4241 or send us an email at txbargrassfed@gmail.com

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10910 Shasta Blvd, Los Molinos, CA, United States

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I'm glad I went with TX Bar Grassfed Cattle Company. I didn't get the amount of take home beef as I thought I would(my mistake), but the second I saw... read more

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April 4, 2023

Worked with Travis of TX Bar and Los Molinos Meats. It was our first time going through a "cow purchase" process and Travis was extremely helpful and the whole process... read more

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March 25, 2023

First time buying half a beef. Travis was very informative and was always available to answer questions. Great overall experience. We will be placing a second order... read more

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March 25, 2023

Great customer service and excellent meat!

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February 25, 2023

Transaction very smooth, great communication from deposit, to harvest , to butcher. The beef tastes heavenly. Nothing better than fresh. We'll be back. Thank you... read more

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January 25, 2023

Great price!!! Grass fed and grass finished. Easy communication with Travis and the Butcher. This was my first experience and absolutely no issues and great farmer doing what he does... read more

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January 25, 2023

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January 25, 2023

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August 25, 2022

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May 25, 2022

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April 25, 2022

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April 25, 2022

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