A cow is a ruminant that has one stomach with four digestive compartments. These four compartments are the rumen, the reticulum, the omasum and the abomasum.
The rumen is the first and largest compartment, holding up to 50 gallons of digested feed. Fermentation of feed and fiber takes place in the rumen. It also contains billions of microbes or bacteria that aid in the digestion of substances, such as cellulose and hemicellulose.
The reticulum connects to the rumen. This compartment’s function is to capture and collect large feed particles for more rumination. The third compartment is the omasum, which contains many folds that act as filters and also extract water from the food.
The last compartment of a cow’s stomach is the abomasum. Here, enzymes break down the protein from feed into amino acids. From the abomasum, these nutrients travel into the bloodstream and the small intestine.Learn More
Adult size for cows can vary significantly due to breed and sex, although large breeds can weigh 1,400 pounds or more. Smaller breeds weigh between 600 and 1,000 pounds. Bulls can grow over 3,000 pounds in rare occasions.Full Answer >
Characteristics of cows include their large size, boxy body type and calm temperament. They have bulky, long bodies with relatively small heads. Cows can weigh more than 2,000 pounds, but height and weight can vary significantly between breeds.Full Answer >
A heifer is a mature female cow that has not calved, or given birth to a calf, yet. As soon as a heifer gives birth, she becomes a cow. A cow refers to a female of any age that has given birth.Full Answer >
Although cattle are often collectively referred to as cows, the word cow specifically refers to females of the cattle species that have given birth to at least one calf. Young female cattle that have not yet given birth to a calf are referred to as heifers.Full Answer >